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It didn’t seem like the Cleveland Indians could be demoralized much further than they were watching their Cy Young candidate get beat by Ross Detwiler to knock them more than a game out of the second wild card spot on Wednesday night.
Tonight showed that the White Sox indeed had more room to make it hurt.
Not only did White Sox trounce the Indians via shutout, but they did it with a bullpen game. Dylan Cease’s hamstring seized up on him during his pregame warmups, but Jose Ruiz, Josh Osich, Jimmy Cordero, Jace Fry and Hector Santiago combined to throw a clean four-hitter (all singles, no walks or HBPs).
And if that wasn’t enough, the White Sox offense piled it on. They had two more extra-base hits than the Indians had any kind of hits, and two of them were Daniel Palka screamers for his first two homers of the year.
Palka’s first one completed the second half of a back-to-back with James McCann, the guy who opened the lid on this one. After Aaron Civale allowed a single and a walk for the Sox’ first scoring threat of the game, McCann made good on it with a soaring three-run bomb over the bullpen in left.
One pitch later, Palka got one of the monkeys on his back, hitting a 114-mph line drive into the first few rows behind the Indians bullpen.
That made it 4-0, and the Sox cruised from there. Osich did the heavy lifting, stranding the bases loaded with a Francisco Lindor lineout after a Yoan Moncada error prevented Ruiz from recording his sixth out. Osich ended up retiring all seven batters he faced to get the game through five, and three via the strikeout. He improved to 4-0 on the season, and this wasn’t his first well-earned win.
Cordero went six-up, six-down, and Fry pitched around a single with a pair of strikeouts. Santiago, reprising one of his first roles with the Sox, closed out the ninth by striking out the side. Sox pitches combined for 10 strikeouts and zero walks. On the other side, an unusually erratic Civale set the tone for a Tribe staff that struggled with the strike zone. They walked six to just eight strikeouts.
The Sox didn’t shy away from tacking on runs, although the Indians offered assistance. In the fifth, Yasiel Puig played a Jose Abreu single into a triple that scored Tim Anderson all the way from first. Zack Collins then doubled home Abreu, as Oscar Mercado mistimed his leap in front of the warning track just left of center.
Palka opened the sixth with a backspin-laden no-doubter to right off James Hoyt, and Collins once again cashed in an Abreu extra-base hit, following Abreu’s 37th double with a single to right.
*Anderson went 1-for-4 to maintain his .338 average.
*Every White Sox hitter reached base once, including a pinch-hit single by Danny Mendick. Adam Engel was the only one who didn’t reach base twice, but he did walk.
*The White Sox finished 11-8 against Cleveland.
*Cease is done for the year, to nobody’s surprise.