This is getting kind of boring, except it’s really not. Thanks in part to another strong pitching performance by starter Trevor Bauer, the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox by a score of 5-3 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. The victory was the 12th in a row for the Indians. And speaking of guarantees, here’s one for you: the loss to the Indians means that the White Sox are mathematically eliminated from winning the AL Central, something they last did in the 2009 season.
But enough about the Pale Hose. The Indians were in command almost from the very start, plating two runs in the top of the second inning on a Carlos Santana home run, his 22nd of the season, and an RBI double from Roberto Perez. They added another run in the fourth inning when designated hitter Francisco Mejia, making his first major league start, singled to get his first hit as an Indian, scoring Santana from second base.
The Sox scored their two runs in the sixth inning off a two-run homer from Rymer Liriano, his first in the major leagues since the 2014 season (in fairness, he spent 2015 and 2016 in the minors). The Trevor Bauer of old might have let that dinger get to him, opening the door for a big inning for the opposition. But the new, improved Bauer just shook it off, and got out of the inning without further damage.
Bauer went 6 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. Bauer shares the league lead for pitcher wins at 15 with Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox. And if you can tell me you saw that happening even a month or two ago, then I’m calling you a liar.
Mejia knocked White Sox starter James Shields out of the game, literally, in the seventh inning, when his line drive hit Shields on the knee. Shields immediately collapsed and spent a couple of minutes on the ground, apparently in pain, before ultimately standing up and limping off the field on his own. He is considered day-to-day.
The Indians also put up solo tallies in the seventh and eighth innings, the latter of which came via Jose Ramirez‘s 23rd home run. The Tribe bullpen allowed one run over the last 2 2/3 innings. Despite walking two batters, Cody Allen pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 24th save of the year.