CHICAGO — Franmil Reyes didn’t have to worry about getting thrown at Saturday night following Friday’s dustup with the White Sox. Rather it was Chicago’s pitchers who had to be on the alert for hard-hit baseballs.
The Indians ripped a season-high 10 extra-base hits as they overcame a 6-1 deficit to beat the White Sox, 12-11, at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The benches cleared Friday night when James Karinchak hit Chicago’s Jose Abreu in the batting helmet in the eighth inning. While both sides said it wasn’t intentional, Reyes didn’t like what he heard from the White Sox during the scuffle and said if he or any of his teammates were hit on Saturday there would be a “problem”
There was no problem Saturday except keeping the umpires supplied with baseballs and the Indians’ bullpen from running out of pitchers. Acting manager DeMarlo Hale finally settled on the right man, Emmanuel Clase, who ended the high-scoring game with a five-out save.
“That was a good game,” said Hale. “It was back and forth between two competitive teams. It came down to who executed in the last part of the game.
“I’m very proud of this team the way they battled back. They were down early and came back and dug down deep. That’s what teams are about.”
The Indians, trailing 6-1, started their rally with consecutive homers by Owen Miller and Austin Hedges against Dallas Keuchel with one out in the fifth. It was the Indians’ third homer in an eight-batter span including Amed Rosario’s leadoff homer in the fourth which accounted for their first run.
They added five more runs in the sixth to take an 8-6 lead. Then they added two more in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
The big hits in the sixth belonged to Reyes (RBI double), Oscar Mercado (RBI double), Austin Hedges (game-tying RBI single) and Yu Chang (two-run triple). Chang’s drive bounced out of right fielder Brian Goodwin’s glove when he hit the outfield fence, giving the Indians an 8-6 lead. Four runs came with two out as Keuchel and Michael Kopech couldn’t stop the rally.
Harold Ramirez made it a 10-6 game with a two-run double off Ryan Tepera in the seventh. Rosario doubled and Jose Ramirez singled to start the inning.
A sacrifice fly by Rosario and an RBI double by Jose Ramirez increased the lead to 12-8 in the eighth.
The extra runs were needed because the White Sox, behind rookie catcher Seby Zavala, tried to bulldoze their way back into the game. Zavala, who entered the game without a big-league homer in his 40 at-bat career, hit his third in as many at-bats to start the seventh. He is the first player in big-league history to hit his first homer as part of a three-homer game.
Abreu, following a Tim Anderson double and a single by Cesar Hernandez, ripped a shot through rookie second baseman Miller’s glove to score Anderson and make it 10-8 with Bryan Shaw pitching. Shaw then engaged in an 11-pitch at-bat with Gavin Sheets that ended with Sheets lining out to right for the first out of the inning. Nick Sandlin relieved and the game almost turned again.
Yoan Moncada sent a liner to left field that Harold Ramirez caught while colliding with the fence. Sandlin struck out Andrew Vaughn to end the inning.
Chicago came back again in the eighth, this time getting revenge against Karinchak. He allowed a two-run homer to Adam Engel and was replaced by Clase with one out and a runner on first. Singles by Hernandez and Abreu made it 12-11 before Sheets hit into a 3-6-1 double play that withstood a Chicago challenge.
“I was confident that he was out,” said Clase, through translator Agustin Rivero. “I went to the base really aggressively.”
It was Clase’s first five-out save of the season and was tied for his second longest appearance. He’s 13-for-15 in save opportunities.
Clase said he was expecting Karinchak to complete the eighth, but had to change his mindset when Hale called for him out of the bullpen with just one out in the inning.
“I was surprised because Karinchak is a really good pitcher,” said Clase. “I had to make preparations and get ready.”
Said Hale, “He picked us up and closed out. Being closer for the day, he got the ground ball. Defensively, we met the moment and turned the double play. You look at him evolving. It’s not just the fastball now he’s added the slider with a lot more depth to it. He’s done a great job.”
The inning was interrupted when fans threw debris at Mercado in right field, prompting Mercado to point to the stands where the debris came from. The debris turned out to be a bobblehead of White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada.
Hale came onto the field to see if the situation was being handled by security.
“Somebody threw something at him,” said Hale. “It was a great crowd. I just wanted to make sure it didn’t escalate. I talked to the security guy in the dugout and he talked to somebody in the stands and they said they got him (the fan who threw the bobblehead).
“I wanted the game to keep going and not have any downtime because it was such a good game. They took care of it right away and we moved on.”
The White Sox took a 6-1 lead after four innings against starter Triston McKenzie. The driving force was Zavala. He started the third with a homer to right for a 2-0 lead. It was the second homer McKenzie had allowed in the game. The first was a two-out shot in the second by Goodwin.
It turned out Zavala was just getting started. Sheets started the fourth with a double, only to see McKenzie retire the next two batters on fly balls. But the young righty walked Goodwin and hit Engel with a pitch to load the bases. Zavala cleared the bases as he sent McKenzie’s 2-2 pitch into the bleachers in left.
The care and feeding of McKenzie continues. In two of his last three starts, he allowed two runs in 13 innings. In his last four starts, he’s walked just four batters after leading the AL in walks for much of the first half. Saturday night, however, he couldn’t keep the ball in the park. In his last four starts, he’s allowed six homers. For the season, 14 pitches have turned into long balls.
The Indians finished the game with 13 hits, including three homers. Rosario, Chang, Harold Ramirez and Hedges drove in two runs each.
The win went to rookie Justin Garza, who was called up from Triple-A before the game. He relieved McKenzie and pitched two scoreless innings.
“He came in and stabilized,” said Hale. “He was able to get some outs and push it to the later innings.”
Next: RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.66) vs. TBD Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET. Bally Sports Great Lakes, WTAM and WMMS will carry the game.
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