It took 11 innings, but the White Sox did not go winless in Cleveland.
Maybe it’s because the Cleveland Browns picked up their first victory since 2016 at the same time the Sox put this one to rest, acting as the ones to restore some balance to the universe.
However it happened, here’s how it happened: Matt Davidson, who has shaved down his beard into a Paul Konerko goatee, a Gorman Thomas handlebar, and a standard-grade policeman’s cookie-duster over the course of the series, ‘stached — I mean, slashed — a two-out RBI single off Adam Cimber, putting the Sox ahead after an eighth-inning disaster blew their chance at winning it in regulation.
Davidson made up for a lot with that single — not just the White Sox bullpen, but also Ryan Cordell, who struck out after whiffing on a buntable squeeze attempt for strike two. Yolmer Sanchez, who led off with a double, came home to score.
Hector Santiago closed it out with a third scoreless inning of relief, freezing a leadoff HBP at first base by wending his way through the heart of the Cleveland order. Francisco Lindor flied out, Michael Brantley struck out, and Jose Ramirez’s one-hopper up the middle found a shifted Yoan Moncada to end it.
The Sox wrapped up the Cleveland part of the season series against the Indians 1-8. If they went 0-9, they’d have nobody to blame up themselves.
Just like Wednesday’s game-winning rally started with an unfortunate hit, the eighth inning started when Adam Engel couldn’t secure Francisco Lindor’s deep drive to center. It would’ve been a tough catch for a lot of center fielders, but it was an uncharacteristically sloppy route from Engel, who didn’t get the cleanest break and rounded it off a little at the track.
Lindor scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-3, and Michael Brantley ushered Aaron Bummer out with a flared single to left.
After that, Rick Renteria used three different pitchers to face three different batters.
Rob Scahill walked Edwin Encarnacion.
Caleb Frare walked Josh Donaldson, who pinch-hit for Yonder Alonso.
Juan Minaya walked Melky Cabrera to tie the game.
Minaya got an inning-ending popout to force the Indians to play a full ninth. The Sox had a chance to take the lead when Yoan Moncada capped off his excellent night with a walk. He moved to second on Sanchez’s sac bunt and moved to third on Kevan Smith’s bounceout. After an intentional walk to Avisail Garcia, Jose Rondon pinch-hit for Omar Narvaez, but his first grounder was hit directly to Yandy Diaz for the fielder’s choice.
Credit Santiago for restoring order, although the Indians helped him get through the 10th. He walked Rajai Davis with one out, after which Adam Rosales bunted him to second. After Sanchez snared a hot grounder by Diaz for the second out, Santiago walked Brandon Barnes to give Kipnis a chance for a second straight walkoff.
Kipnis hit a grounder toward the hole on the right side. It would’ve been a challenging-but-makeable play for Moncada, who has struggled on the edges of his range. However, the ball never got to him because Barnes ran into it for the third out.
Otherwise, Santiago got the job done on his own merit, even if he was his typically inefficient self.
James Shields had a quintessentially crafty evening. He allowed back-to-back homers to Lindor and Ramirez in the third inning that cut the Sox’ 4-0 lead in half, but otherwise settled in to throw six innings of two-run ball.
Shields only induced six swinging strikes, but he got a couple of double plays from Yandy Diaz, who had an awful game.
The White Sox built a 4-0 lead with a steady stream of singles against Josh Tomlin. Three singles by the first four batters gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the first, and then Yoan Moncada cashed in two singles with a ringing double to right to make it 3-0.
Omar Narvaez then added a solo shot in the third for a 4-0 lead.
Record: 60-92 | Box score