The Cleveland Indians 2013 domination of the Chicago White Sox continued on Saturday night as they routed the South Siders, 8-1.
Once again the story had to be the performance of Ubaldo Jimenez. For the second straight start, Jimenez pitched deep into the game and limited the opposition to only one run. This time he lasted 8.1 innings allowing that one run to cross the plate while scattering eight hits and walking only one batter. He also struck out eight White Sox, making it the fifth time in his last six starts that he has struck out at least eight batters. This continues a trend of solid starts that has continued to make Jimenez look like the Jimenez of old.
Since the All-Star break, Jimenez has been fantastic. He has posted a 1.83 ERA, second only to Miami’s Jose Fernandez, and a 1.18 WHIP. His strikeout to walk ratio has been incredible going from 1.77 in the first half to 3.09 in the second half. Most impressive of all, since the beginning of August Jimenez has the most strikeouts of any pitching in baseball not named Yu Darvish.
Jimenez wasn’t the only star for the Tribe last night, though. The offense came to play for the second straight night. Led by Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall, who went a combined 5 for 8 with 5 RBI, they hung an 8-spot on the White Sox highlighted by a five run fourth inning off of starter Anthony Rienzo.
In the fourth, Santana led things off with a single to left. Then, following a fly out by Michael Brantley, Asdrubal Cabrera stepped to the plate looking to make an impact. He did just that. Cabrera homered to right-center to put the Indians up 2-0. After the home run, Jason Giambi drew a one out walk and Yan Gomes singled to right center. Lonnie Chisenhall followed them with a three run home run to nearly the exact same spot as Cabrera’s in right-center. With the blast, Chisenhall’s tenth of the season, put the Tribe up 5-0. The Indians could have been up 7-0, but Alejandro De Aza robbed Jason Kipnis of a home run to dead center to end the inning.
The Indians added their sixth and seventh runs of the game in the sixth inning. With two on and two out, Santana delivered a two run single to center. Both Chisenhall and Michael Bourn raced around the bases to score. It was clear from that point that the White Sox were about to lose their eleventh straight game to the Indians. In the top of the ninth, Ryan Raburn added to the party with a sacrifice fly to make it an 8-0 ballgame.
The White Sox tried to come back in the bottom of the ninth. They loaded the bases with one out and even scored a run when Josh Phegley hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-1. That’s all they would get. C.C. Lee struck out Marcus Semien to end the game.
With the win, the Indians pulled to within 1.5 games of a wild card birth. The Rangers’ loss to the A’s combined with Tampa’s victory of the the Twins tied both teams atop the wild card standings. The Indians are now 1.5 games ahead of their next closest competitor, the Yankees.