Tribe get second chance, beat White Sox 7-4
The Indians got the win on one of the biggest days in Cleveland sports history.
CLEVELAND, OH - LeBron James decided on Friday afternoon that the Cavaliers would get a second chance for a championship, in what may be known as the biggest day in Cleveland sports history.
Hours later, the Indians got a second chance of their own and made the most of it in a 7-4 beating of the White Sox that took them back to the .500 mark on the season.
With the Indians down 4-3 in the bottom of the 4th inning, Asdrubal Cabrera was called out while attempting to steal second base. Immediately, Cabrera ushered to manager Terry Francona to challenge the call.
Sure enough, White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez whiffed on the tag and, following the challenge, Cabrera was awarded second base. On the very next pitch, Lonnie Chisenhall sent a single to center, allowing Cabrera to score and tie the game at 4-4.
“Obviously that call was huge for us,” manager Terry Francona said, following the win. “You like it (the instant replay system), especially when it helps you.”
“Calls like that can just really turn a game around,” Nick Swisher reiterated. “So rather than just assuming that a call is right, we’re making sure they’re absolutely right.”
While the Indians took advantage of their second chance, Swisher ensured things weren’t done just yet.
Riding a seven-game hit streak, no. 33 stepped to the plate and smashed a two-run home run to deep center field to give the Indians a 6-4 lead, one that they would not relinquish for the rest of the evening.
“Regardless of the situation right there, I just wanted to come through in that spot. I didn’t necessarily want to try to hit a home run,” Swisher said. “Obviously, any time we have a chance to strike, we want to do that.”
The offensive output from Swisher and the Indians was much needed as Corey Kluber, in his first outing following the “#VoteKluber” campaign that left Twitter timelines across Northeast Ohio begging for mercy, was not the All-Star caliber pitcher he’s been for most of the season.
In six innings, Kluber allowed four runs on eight hits and even elicited a visit from Francona and the trainer, but was still able to earn his ninth win of the season.
“He’s been so dominant, but tonight he had to work a little bit,” Francona said, of his starter. “You’re not going to have your best command every night, but he gave us a chance to win.”
While he wasn’t necessarily thrilled with his performance, with his signature stoic mug following the game, Kluber admitted that he didn’t have his best stuff and was just happy the team was able to find a way to emerge victorious.
“It wasn’t my best,” Kluber said. “My fastball location wasn’t that great, but the most important thing was that we got a win.”
Back at .500 for the first time since June 20th, the Indians are looking to head into next week’s All-Star Break with some momentum for a second-half push.
“Going into the break, you’d like to be as hot as you can so you can remember what it feels like,” Swisher said of the impending off-days. “This is a streaky squad and if we get things snowballing in the right direction, a lot of good things can happen to us.”
The Indians will continue their three-game set against the White Sox on Saturday from Progressive Field. First pitch is set for 3:05 PM.