CLEVELAND (AP)AL MVP Jose Abreu grounded out with the bases loaded to blunt a ninth-inning rally against Cleveland closer James Karinchak, giving Shane Bieber and the Indians a 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Bieber (6-3) allowed two earned runs in seven innings, striking out seven to beat the AL Central-leading White Sox for the fifth straight time. The reigning Cy Young winner is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in three starts against Chicago this season.
”All in all, I was pretty happy with the way I pitched,” Bieber said. ”I had to settle in and not let them get the best of me. So did James at the end, and down the road, these kind of outings can be beneficial for a young pitcher.”
Down 6-3 in the ninth, Chicago scored twice as Zack Collins and Nick Madrigal hit RBI singles off Karinchak. A walk to Yoan Moncada loaded the bases for Abreu, who grounded out to shortstop to give Karinchak his seventh save.
”Abreu is probably the last guy you want up there in that situation,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”It’s like I told (pitching coach Carl Willis) when he came up to bat, `I think I like baseball, but I’m not sure right now.”’
Austin Hedges’ two-run homer off Dylan Cease (3-2) landed on the porch in left field and gave the Indians a 5-3 lead in the fourth, scoring Bradley Zimmer.
Jose Ramirez’s second double of the evening drove in Amed Rosario later in the frame, charging Cease with all six runs in 3 1/3 innings. Ramirez was removed from the game in the eighth as a precaution due to dehydration.
Harold Ramirez had two hits with two RBIs and a stolen base for Cleveland, which has won two in a row to pull within 2 1/2 games of Chicago.
The White Sox went up 3-2 on an unusual play in the second when Billy Hamilton scored after doubling home Jake Lamb and Zack Collins. Hamilton never stopped running, taking third on a throw and scoring on Hedges’ fielding error at the plate.
”The ball came out of my glove and the fastest guy in the world was on third base in Hamilton,” Hedges said, shaking his head. ”You can’t lose the ball like that or else he transports to the next base.”
Josh Naylor and Harold Ramirez gave the Indians a 2-0 lead in the first with back-to-back RBI singles.
Chicago manager Tony La Russa remained two wins behind John McGraw’s 2,763 for second place on the career list. The White Sox are 7-3 since May 24.
”We never quit and if we keep playing nine innings, good things will happen,” La Russa said. ”We’ve got that part covered and we’re not going to lose it.”
The Indians played their final home game under 40% crowd restrictions set by the Ohio Department of Health. Progressive Field will now be open to its full capacity of 34,830.
White Sox: OF Eloy Jimenez (left pectoral rupture) and OF Luis Robert (right hip flexor tear) have not been ruled out for the year, but general manager Rick Hahn said the timelines for their projected returns won’t even be determined until July.
Indians: OF Jordan Luplow (left ankle sprain) is eligible to be activated from the 10-day injured list on June 5. Luplow has been bothered by ankle pain since spring training, but a recent MRI revealed no structural issues.
White Sox LHP Garrett Crochet — the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 draft — is widely viewed as a future closer, allowing one run in his first 21 2/3 innings in the majors. La Russa isn’t asking too much of the 21-year-old reliever, who was on the injured list with an upper back strain from April 29 to May 7. ”We’ve tried to be careful not to bring him back two games in a row,” La Russa said. ”You can’t ask a pitcher about that because they’re going to say, `Yeah, I’m ready.”’
White Sox: RHP Lance Lynn (6-1, 1.37 ERA) has the top ERA in the AL among pitchers with 50 innings, but is 2 1/3 innings shy of qualifying for the official league lead.
Indians: RHP Jean Carlos Mejia (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first big league start after three relief outings. RHP Eli Morgan was initially scheduled to pitch the series finale.
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