Indians hit walk-off home run to beat White Sox – Wednesday edition


This is becoming a familiar sight when the Indians and White Sox square off (Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports).

It looked like it was going to be a nice comeback victory for the White Sox.  But those who have watched any significant amount of White Sox games in 2013 knew it just couldn’t end that way.

The game looked like it would be heading to the bottom of the ninth inning tied at three, but that’s when the game truly started.  With two out and nobody on in the top of the ninth, Conor Gillaspie hit a single to left field, which was followed by a Dayan Viciedo single and a Gordon Beckham walk to load the bases.

Manager Robin Ventura then made a bold move—pinch-hitting Jeff Keppinger for phabulous phenom Josh Phegley.  The Twittervierse was up in arms over the move and tweeters had a point—why, in a season that’s already lost, wouldn’t you let a rookie, who could play a significant role in the team’s future, get the experience of hitting with the bases loaded in a crucial situation?

Well, Keppinger made Ventura look smart, hitting an opposite-field, two-RBI single to give the Sox a 5-3 lead.  A White Sox victory due to a clutch hit and a move by Ventura (a rarity of all rarities) hung in the balance.

Addison Reed came on and promptly gave up a leadoff double to Michael Brantley and then hit pinch-hitter and last night’s hero Jason Giambi on a 1-2 pitch.  Drew Stubbs then tried to give the White Sox an out, but ended up loading the bases with a bunt single.  Two sacrifice flies later and the game headed to extra innings tied at five.

After a quiet 1-2-3 top of the tenth inning, Dylan Axelrod came on and promptly gave up a game-winning home run to Indians catcher Carlos Santana—after Santana tried coercing the umpire into calling ball four the pitch before.  This walk-off 6-5 win is just par for the course for the Tribe, as they lead the major leagues in walk-off wins since Progressive Field (then Jacobs Field) opened in 1994.

Up Next: The White Sox try to avoid a sweep in an afternoon affair tomorrow in Cleveland at 12:05 CDT with Chris Sale facing off against Justin Masterson.

Team Record: 40-65

Box Score

Follow Kevin Wallace on Twitter @kwallace23