Roster Update: Prior to tonight’s game, Austin Adams was promoted from AAA marking his first time on a Major League roster while T.J. House was sent back to AAA. The Indians have just three more games before the All-Star break, so even with the double header on the 19th, they won’t need a fifth starter again until July 21st, the day House will be eligible to come back to the team. Zach McAllister is set to be recalled for tomorrow’s game, so expect another move tomorrow morning, likely decreasing the bullpen from ten to nine.
Player of the Game
Nick Swisher continued his recent hot streak, going 2/5 with two runs scored and two RBI. In addition to pushing his hitting streak to seven games with an early single, Swisher added a huge two run home run later in the game to give the Indians a two run lead in the fifth. Even when getting out Swisher was lucky as he was safe on an Leury Garcia error in his fifth at bat.
The Indians used a couple of slump busters to tie the game at two in the second. After Swisher singled, David Murphy homered him home, his first long ball since May. All this came with two outs after Alejandro De Aza mad a tremendous catch to rob Lonnie Chisenhall. The White Sox had initially taken the lead in the top of the inning after three straight hits and a ground out against Corey Kluber, but no lead would be safe as their were six lead changes on the night.
Terry Francona is starting to get a handle on this replay business and his 20th challenge may have been the most important one yet. With two out in the fifth, Asdrubal Cabrera attempted a steal of second with Lonnie Chisenhall at bat. Cabrera was initially called out, ending the inning, but Francona challenged and won, allowing Chisenhall to bat and he hit his second consecutive single, bringing home Cabrera from second. Chisenhall was able to go to second on the throw home, then Nick Swisher made it all irrelevant with a massive bomb out of the deepest part of the ballpark for a two run home run and a two run Indians lead.
After a poor start, the Indians bullpen was magnificent again, pitching three perfect innings to keep the Sox at four. John Axford and Bryan Shaw each earned holds, striking out three between them before Cody Allen came in and retired the side in order, striking out all three batters. It was Allen’s 11th save in 12 attempts.
In a back and forth affair, the Indians had a great chance to blow things open in the fourth, but were only able to come away with a single run. The White Sox had already scored in the top of the inning to retake the lead by one, before the Indians first two hitters reached in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Yan Gomes walked to load the bases, then Chris Dickerson followed with a four pitch walk to bring home the tying run. Jason Kipnis came to the plate and swung at the first pitch after the walk, weakly grounding out and ending what could have been a huge inning with just a single run.
Kluber wasn’t as good as he can be tonight and the home plate umpire, Gary Cederstrom certainly was not his friend, but he still managed to pitch six innings and strike out five. On the negative side, Kluber allowed four runs for the first time in his last seven starts and eight hits as well. Luckily for him, this was one game where he received some offensive support and earned the win despite struggling.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 7 – Chicago White Sox 4
On Deck: McAllister will return to the rotation as the Tribe and Sox clash in game two at 3:05 PM in Cleveland.