CLEVELAND, OH – After a day off on Monday the White Sox opened their first road series of the season against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, with James Shields taking the ball for the White Sox, opposed by Carlos Carrasco of the Indians.
For the first time since the 1998 season, the Cleveland Indians raised an American League Pennant banner before today’s match-up with the White Sox, marking the sixth time that the Tribe won the American League Championship. Unfortunately for the Indians, the American Pennant banner was the only one raised today, as they fell just short of the ultimate prize last November when they lost the World Series to the Cubs in seven games.
Carlos Carrasco would shut down the White Sox lineup for the first four innings of the ballgame, before allowing a solo homer over the tall wall in left field off the the bat of Todd Frazier. The homer was Frazier’s first of the season, and tied the game at 1-1 at the time. It was also Frazier’s second extra-base hit in as many at-bats on the afternoon, after he doubled in his first plate appearance of the game.
Abraham Almonte led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a double to the left field wall, breaking a string of 12 consecutive Indians retired by White Sox starter, James Shields. Shields would retire Carlos Santana on a fly-out to left field before walking Francisco Lindor, and being removed in favor of Dan Jennings, ending his outing with a final line of 5.1 innings pitched, 1 R, 2 H, 6 K, 2 BB.
After working a full count on Michael Brantley, White Sox reliever Dan Jennings missed low and away to walk Brantley and load the bases for Edwin Encarnacion. Jennings would be pulled in favor of Zach Putnam by Sox skipper Rick Renteria. Putnam would induce a ground ball to the left side off of the bat of Encarnacion, and Todd Frazier would start the turning of an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to keep the game tied at 1-1 after six innings.
Zach Putnam was excellent out of the ‘pen, inducing the 5-4-3 double play off of the bat of Edwin Encarnacion to end the sixth inning, stranding the bases loaded for the Indians, and then working around a lead-off double in the seventh inning with two strikeouts and a ground out sending the game into the eighth inning tied at 1-1.
After a one out double by pinch-hitter Matt Davidson set the White Sox up with an excellent opportunity to take the lead, with runners at second and third and just one out, Indians reliever Andrew Miller would escape the jam by retiring Tyler Saladino on a line-out to third-baseman Yandy Diaz, and then striking out Tim Anderson to keep the game tied heading into the home half of the eighth.
The Indians also threatened in their half of the eighth inning with Nate Jones struggling to find the zone, walking Almonte and Santana to open the frame, and then intentionally walking Michael Brantley after a perfect sacrifice bunt by Francisco Lindor. With the bases loaded and one out, once again Edwin Encarnacion stepped to the plate for the Indians, and once again Encarnacion grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to keep the game tied after eight innings.
Despite the excellent outing by Sox pitching, the Indians would walk off on a Michael Brantley RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Tribe a 2-1 victory.
Todd Frazier: 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI
James Shields: 5.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 6 K, 2 BB (ND)
Zach Putnam: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 K, 0 BB
Francisco Lindor: 1-2, HR, RBI, 2 BB, SAC-B, 2 R
Carlos Carrasco: 7.0 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 7 K, 1 BB
Todd Frazier entered Tuesday’s contest with one hit on the season, and doubled that by the fifth inning with a double in his first at-bat in the second inning and a solo home run in his second at-bat in the fifth inning. Frazier entered the game leading the league in pitches seen per at-bat, and his patience appeared to pay off on Tuesday against the Indians.
James Shields, who was as we all know, downright awful in 2016, has now turned in two quality starts in two chances to open the 2017 season. Shields tossed 5.1 innings of one-run ball in his first start of the season against the Detroit Tigers while picking up his first win of the season, and followed that up with another strong performance against the Indians. Shields left the game in line for a no-decision after allowing a pair of hits and one run over the course of 5.1 innings of work, striking out six and walking two. Shields’ ERA now sits at 1.69 through his 10.2 IP.
Jacob May was 0-2 for on the day before being replaced in favor of a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, pushing his hit-less streak to six games to begin his major-league career this season.
The White Sox will continue their three game series with the Tribe on Wednesday evening in Cleveland, with Derek Holland making his second start of the season for the White Sox. Holland is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA after one start, and will be opposed by Danny Salazar on Wednesday evening.
First Pitch: 5:10 pm (CT)
Streaming: NBC Sports App on iPhone and Android