Offense falls flat as Tribe lose to White Sox, 6-2
Cleveland did not score until the seventh inning in Saturday's loss.
CLEVELAND, OH - On Friday night, an overturned challenge helped the Indians to dismantle the White Sox and on Saturday afternoon, things seemed to be heading in that same direction.
Immediately, Terry Francona emerged from the dugout to challenge the call and, as it was the night before, it was overturned, giving Gomes a single and moving Chisenhall to second base.
David Murphy then blooped a single to shallow right field and the Indians, who had mustered just two hits heading into the bottom of that seventh inning, had the bases loaded with one out, down 3-0.
This time, however, the Indians couldn’t quite take advantage of the second chance, as they had just a night ago.
To start the eighth, Michael Brantley smacked his 15th home run of the season to bring the Indians to within a run, but the White Sox added three runs in the top of the ninth off of Austin Adams in his Major League debut to secure the 6-2 victory.
Following the game, Brantley explained his power surge this season that has already put him five home runs ahead of last year’s total of 10 round-trippers.
“I’m just putting the barrel on the ball,” Brantley said. “If it goes out, it goes out. If it’s a line drive, a ground ball, I don’t control that. I just try to put the barrel on the ball as much as possible.”
Despite the lack of offensive support outside of Brantley’s bomb, Zach McAllister didn’t seem to be at all rusty in his first start since May 21, as he allowed just four hits and three runs on 92 pitches in seven innings of work.
Manager Terry Francona was impressed by his starter as well, saying that McAllister showed signs of being the pitcher that he was at the beginning of this season, when he allowed just seven runs in his first four starts and earned three wins in the process.
“He was pretty effective,” Francona said of his starter. “I thought he came out really aggressive, especially with his fastball, and he mixed in some off-speed pitches.”
McAllister, while not thrilled with the result, felt that his return to Progressive Field was a step in the right direction and a start to build upon.
“I was extremely happy with it,” McAllister said of his outing. “It’s what I had in mind and what I was hoping I could accomplish. Obviously, it would have been a lot better if we could have gotten a “W”, but it’s a good step in the right direction.
Falling back to a game below .500 with the loss, the Indians will complete this series with the White Sox on Sunday afternoon before heading into the All-Star Break. First pitch from Progressive Field is set for 1:05 PM EST.
This team has the look of a .500 club with too many issues to make the playoffs.