EditorsNote: Changes headline
Indians win 13th straight, pound White Sox
CHICAGO — Cleveland Indians starter Danny Salazar didn’t last an inning in his first game back off the disabled list.
Fortunately the bullpen — seven different relievers — stepped into the breach as the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 9-4 on Tuesday for their 13th straight victory.
Cleveland (82-56) used four home runs — including a pair from Jose Ramirez — to account for most of its runs.
“You never want to see your starter struggle, obviously he’s coming off an injury and we really didn’t know what to expect,” said right-handed reliever Dan Otero, who pitched the second and third innings and eventually claimed the victory. “But we’re prepared for anything from the first pitch on. These situations arise and you can’t mope. You have to go in there and pitch.”
Salazar, activated from the 10-day disabled list (right elbow inflammation) after missing two turns, lasted only two-thirds of an inning and was charged with all four Chicago runs.
“If there’s a hiccup along the way, you’ve probably got a pretty good chance of losing,” said Indians manager Terry Francona.
But the Cleveland bullpen collectively turned in a shutout over the next 8 1/3 innings while giving up nine hits, striking out nine walking three.
Jose Ramirez homered twice while Austin Jackson and Yan Gomes each added solo shots as the Indians moved one win shy of matching the franchise’s all-time winning streak of 14, set between June 17-July 1, 2016.
Chicago (54-83) dropped its second straight.
Ramirez went 2-for-5 while Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Santana also had two hits apiece.
Rob Brantly, Avisail Garcia and Tim Anderson each had a pair of hits for the White Sox.
Otero (3-0), the third of eight Indians pitchers, earned the victory in a two-inning effort. He allowed two hits and struck out one.
White Sox starter David Holmberg (2-4) took the loss after working three innings. It was his first start since June 26.
Gomes closed the Cleveland scoring with a three-run homer — his 11th of the season — with two out in the ninth off White Sox reliever Chris Beck. The homer brought home Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall.
The Indians opened a 2-0 lead with back-to-back first inning solo home runs from
Jackson and Ramirez. Jackson’s homer to left was his seventh.
It was third time this season Cleveland has homered in consecutive at-bats.
Encarnacion scored from third to make it 3-0 on Brandon Guyer’s fielder’s choice grounder to short.
But the lead was short-lived.
Salazar gave up a fielder’s choice grounder to Jose Abreu that allowed Yolmer Sanchez to score from third.
Matt Davidson then clubbed his 24th homer of the season, a two-out shot that brought home Garcia and Brantley for a 4-3 Chicago lead.
“They jumped ahead and then we came back,” said White Sox manager Rick Renteria. “They went nine up to the plate in the first and we did the same thing. We were able to capitalize on the long ball that Matty (Davidson) hit and we were right there.”
Salazar, quickly pulled for right-hander Nick Goody, threw 26 pitches and allowed four earned runs on one hit, walked two, hit a batter and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning of work.
“(Salazar’s) arm feels good because he was firing it,” said Francona. “He just had no idea where it was going. He had no feel for his changeup and he was erratic with his fastball.”
Goody walked two more before Adam Engel flied out to end a 46-minute first inning.
Ramirez slugged his 25th home run and second of the game with two out in the second, a solo shot to left off Holmberg to force a 4-4 tie. It was sixth career multi-homer game, all this season.
Greg Allen doubled in Guyer and Gomes in the third for a 6-4 Cleveland lead. Allen was caught in a rundown while trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
Holmberg lasted three innings, allowing six runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two.
NOTES: Starting pitcher Danny Salazar was among three Cleveland transactions Tuesday. They also called up RHP Shawn Armstrong and OF Tyler Naquin from Triple-A Columbus. ... The Indians send RHP Carlos Carrasco (13-6, 3.67 ERA) against White Sox RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 6.06) in Wednesday’s middle game. ... OF Eloy Jimenez was named the White Sox Minor League Player of the Month while RHP Michael Kopech was named Pitcher of the Month on Tuesday. ... Chicago reinstated INF Yoan Moncada from the 10-day disabled list (bone contusion of the right shin) and inserted him in the lineup. The White Sox also called up LHP Jace Fry from Double-A Birmingham and requested waivers on LHP Derek Holland. Fry made his big league and faced three ninth inning batters, giving up a single to one and walking another.