The Chicago White Sox lit up Indians pitching for 17 hits as the Tribe fell in a lopsided 14-7 contes. Derek Lowe hit the showers after an unimpressive 2.1 innings of eight-run baseball and took the loss to drop his record to 6-3. Chicago starter Jake Peavy allowed seven runs, but pitched into the seventh inning and walked away with the win to improve to 6-1 on the year.
The win moves improves the White Sox’ record to 25-22 knocks the Indians’ (26-20) lead in the AL Central down to just 1.5 games. The Indians will be looking to avoid the sweep tomorrow as Ubaldo Jimenez (5-3, 5.02 ERA) will take on Gavin Floyd (3-5, 4.66 ERA).
Prior to Saturday’s game, the Indians placed catcher Carlos Santana on the seven-day concussion list and purchased the contract of Luke Carlin from Triple-A Columbus. In order to make room for Carlin on the 40-man roster the Indians transferred Rafael Perez from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list (eligible to return June 23rd). Facing Jake Peavy is a formidable task at full strength but it was made even more difficult without Travis Hafner (day-to-day with a sore knee), Asdrubal Cabrera (day-to-day, sore hamstring), and Santana in the lineup.
The White Sox had their hitting shoes on early and grabbed a commanding lead in the first inning. With one out Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn, and Paul Konerko hit consecutive singles to plate the first run of the game. Alex Rios then hit what appeared to be a bases-clearing three-run homer, but Michael Brantley went back to the wall and made a leaping grab for the second out. Unfortunately Lowe was unable to take advantage of Brantley’s spectacular play as A.J. Pierzynski followed with an RBI double to plate Dunn. Konerko and Pierzynski were brought home on a single by Dayan Viciedo to put the White Sox up 4-0.
The Indians came back to take the lead the top of the third inning. With one out in the inning the Indians loaded the bases on a Juan Diaz walk, a Lou Marson single, and a Shin Soo-Choo hit-by-pitch. Brantley delivered a bases-clearing double to cut the White Sox’ lead to 4-3. He came in to score on a wind-aided home run off the bat of Jason Kipnis to hand a 5-4 lead back to Derek Lowe.
Lowe immediately gave up back-to-back ground rule doubles to Dunn and Konerko and a traditional double to Alex Rios as the White Sox took a 6-5 lead; Dayan Viciedo followed with a two-run homer to score Rios. Alexei Ramirez followed with a single and stole second base. Orlando Hudson hit a ground ball back to the mound and Lowe fired to Jack Hannahan to get Ramirez advancing but Hannahan was unable to handle the throw. Jeremy Accardo came in and got out of the jam, but Lowe’s day was finished and he left with Cleveland down 8-5.
The Indians came back to cut the lead to 8-7 in the top of the sixth as Kipnis drove in Choo with his second homer of the afternoon. The bullpen kept the game close, as Accardo worked a much-needed 2.1 scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Nick Hagadone, who worked a scoreless sixth.
But the White Sox teed off against Joe Smith in the seventh. He issued a leadoff walk to Konerko, who came around to score on a double by Rios and an error on Juan Diaz on the cutoff throw. Pierzynski blooped a single to move Rios to third and came around to score on Viciedo’s single. Ramirez was sawed off B. Smith and grounded the ball to Casey Kotchman, but Smith was unable to locate first base on the flip and Chicago loaded the bases. Smith then struck out Orlando Hudson and induced what should have been the inning-ending double play ball but Diaz’s throw pulled Kotchman off the bag, allowing two runs to score.
Chicago wasn’t done—Konerko doubled and Rios homered off of Tony Sipp in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, and Will Ohman held the Indians without a hit and scoreless over the final 2.2 innings as the Tribe fell, 14-7.
The Good: Jason Kipnis drove in four runs with his first two-homer game of his career—he sure seems to like hitting at U.S. Cellular. Michael Brantley had a great day on both sides of the ball, robbing Alex Rios of a home run, driving in three runs, and extending his hitting streak to five games. Finally, Jeremy Accardo and Nick Hagadone combined to work a much-needed 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The Bad: To say that Derek Lowe wasn’t himself on Saturday was an understatement. Entering Saturday afternoon he led the AL in ERA (2.15) and had a 3.4 GB/FB ratio. Yet he lasted only 2.1 innings, surrendering eight runs (all earned) on 10 hits while striking out three and walking one. And of of the seven outs Lowe recorded only two were on grounders.
Juan Diaz also looked lost in the field. He failed to cover second base on a cut off throw, was charged with an error on a relay throw, and threw wildly to first on a simple step on the bag and throw to first double play.
The “Huh?”: Jack Hannahan returned to the field after missing 11 games and didn’t look sharp, going 0-for-4 and striking out twice, further reinforcing the idea that the Indians mishandled his injury. Why didn’t they send Hannahan to the disabled list, supplement the roster with a replacement fielder, and give Hannahan time to get some rehab at-bats in the minors before he came back to the big league club?