Many teams have laid waste to the Chicago White Sox this season, but the Indians’ dominance had spread over to encompass the one thing the franchise does well: start Chris Sale every five games.
Not content to just beat the White Sox 15 out of 17 times to boost their playoff chances, the Indians probably ruined any faint notion of a Chris Sale Cy Young campaign with disastrous sixth inning that broke open a 7-1 win that the Sox offense never showed any hint of having an impact on. Nick Swisher opened the frame by turning on–then admiring–a 92 mph fastball that didn’t bore in enough for a solo shot to left that gave the Indians a 3-0 advantage, but a line drive into the left field bullpen off the bat Asdrubal Cabrera added three more runs in one blow, and truly signaled that Sale would not be lasting much longer. He would face three more batters, retire one of them, and depart with a 6-0 deficit. All runs were earned.
It was a jarring end to a game that began with Sale striking out the side in the first inning, and having five strikeouts to his name through three innings. The early damage came almost entirely due from spare outfielder Matt Carson, who lined a two-out RBI single in the second, and went opposite field for a solo shot home run in the fourth.
The Cleveland Indians have now accounted for 22 of the 69 earned runs Sale has allowed on the year. He has a 8.61 ERA in 23 innings against Cleveland, and a 2.37 ERA against the rest of the league in 178.1 innings.
The White Sox offense barely deserves a mention. Indians starter Zach McAllister faced the minimum through four innings, with a two-out single from Marcus Semien quickly getting erased when he was caught stealing second serving as the only baserunner.
When the Indians went up 6-0 in the top of the sixth, that single still represented the White Sox’ only hit. For the second-straight night, Josh Phegley saved his teammates from a shutout, knocking in their only run with a sharp single up the middle in the seventh and driving McAllister from the game. But the rally ended when a sharply hit ball from Semien was snagged by Michael Brantley in left. Semien collected two hits and hit the ball sharply all three times up. It’s hard to focus on, but that probably matters more.
-Avisail Garcia missed the game to be with his pregnant wife
-The game was originally scheduled for 1:10 pm CT, but was delayed four and a half hours due to rain, or suspicion of rain.
-Semien is now hitting .346/.370/.385 in 27 plate appearances. He’s whiffing a ton, but early success should offer him more opportunities down the stretch.
-Nick Swisher homered from both sides of the plate, with the second one being a horrifying bomb to right field off Ramon Troncoso.
Team Record: 58-91
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