Aug 20, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians designated hitter Zach Walters (6) hits a home run in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Walters Powers Cleveland Indians to 8-6 Win Over Chicago White Sox

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The Tribe won the series opener against the White Sox on Tuesday night, defeating Chicago 8-6 in extra innings. Lefty starter T.J. House lasted just 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk. Although he struck out four, he struggled to keep runners off the bases. Meanwhile, Sox right-hander Jose Quintana gave up six runs on nine hits and two walks over five innings, striking out just three batters. The Tribe proceeded to win the battle of the bullpens that followed, with Bryan Shaw earning the win.

Key Innings

Top of the 1st, tied 0-0
The Indians got off to an early lead. Michael Bourn led off with a ground-rule double, and Michael Brantley was hit by a pitch. A double by Carlos Santana gave the Tribe a 1-0 advantage, before they tacked on two more runs on a ground out off the bat of Jason Kipnis and a single by Mike Aviles.

Bottom of the 5th, Indians lead 4-3
A two-RBI single by Avisail Garcia in the bottom of the first brought the White Sox within a run, until Michael Brantley hit an RBI ground-rule double in the top of the second inning. It was a short-lived lead, however. Another ground-rule double, this time by Dayan Viciedo, set the stage for an RBI single off the bat of Adam Eaton. With Eaton at first, Alexei Ramirez homered to give Chicago their first lead of the day, driving House from the game.

Top of the 10th, tied 6-6
Roberto Perez’s sixth-inning RBI single combined with an error by Eaton to give the Tribe a temporary lead, but the White Sox quickly tied it up in the seventh on a Ramirez ground out that scored a run. Both teams failed to scored until the tenth inning, when Lonnie Chisenhall hit a pinch-hit double to right field. Zach Walters immediately followed with a long home run, giving the Indians the lead they needed to win the game.

The Positives

The bullpen was excellent, allowing just one run in over five innings of work. Walters has continued to crush the ball ever since being called up following his trade to the Indians. Bourn, Kipnis, Aviles, Walters and Perez each had a pair of hits, with the team accumulating 14 total, in addition to four walks. Overall, it was an excellent game for the Indians.

The Negatives

House struggled, although his final line was marred by a two-out home run in the fifth inning. He gave up too many hits, and allowed the White Sox to respond to the Tribe’s early efforts.

Check It Out

– The Indians are four games above .500, and only four games back from a wild card spot. They’ve won seven of their last ten games, including their last three.

– Tribe pitchers, who combined to strike out nine batters tonight, have the second-highest strikeout total in the major leagues.

Corey Kluber, who is slated to pitch for the Tribe on Wednesday, is 4-1 with a 1.15 ERA since the All-Star break. In those seven games, he’s already accumulated 63 strikeouts and allowed just eight runs.

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Tags: Cleveland Indians Corey Kluber Tj House Zach Walters

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