Rookie Oscar Mercado had an RBI single among his three hits and made a diving catch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning as the host Cleveland Indians held on for an 8-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
Franmil Reyes belted a two-run homer and rookie Yu Chang ripped a two-run single for the Indians, who scored in six of the first seven innings to build an 8-2 lead.
Jose Abreu launched a two-run homer in the eighth inning and Tim Anderson did the same in the ninth for the White Sox, who have lost eight of their last nine games.
Brad Hand surrendered Anderson’s 15th homer of the season and left the bases loaded for Nick Wittgren, who saw center fielder Mercado deny Eloy Jimenez of a potential game-tying hit. Wittgren struck out Ryan Goins to secure his fourth save.
Shane Bieber (13-7) overcame a rocky start and picked up the win after allowing two runs on six hits with nine strikeouts.
Cleveland claimed a 3-2 lead in the third inning after Mercado reached on an infield single before coming around to score following Carlos Santana’s RBI double to right-center field.
Mercado was at it again in the fourth inning, this time with a single to right-center field to plate Roberto Perez and give the Indians a 4-2 advantage.
Yasiel Puig singled to lead off the fifth inning before Reyes sent a first-pitch fastball from Ivan Nova (9-12) over the wall in right field. The homer was Reyes’ 34th of the season and seventh since being acquired from San Diego in a three-team deal at the trade deadline.
Chang added two more in the seventh to stake Cleveland to an 8-2 lead.
Cleveland opened the scoring in the first inning as Francisco Lindor scored on Puig’s fielder’s choice, however Chicago answered with a pair of runs in the second to take the lead.
Yolmer Sanchez’s sacrifice fly plated James McCann before Zack Collins singled to right-center field to give the White Sox a 2-1 advantage.
Chicago’s slim lead didn’t last long as Reyes doubled to lead off the second inning, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored after Perez grounded into a double play.
—Field Level Media