CHICAGO — It’s hard to win when you walk nine batters, including a pair with the bases loaded.
So despite a decent offensive showing against Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale, the Cleveland Indians lost 9-6 Friday night.
Down 3-0, the Indians tied the score with three runs in the fifth, only for Carlos Carrasco (0-2) to give up two more in the bottom half.
“We got the three back, especially against Sale that’s not the easiest thing,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We really ran Sale’s pitch count up early, but didn’t have anything to show for it. Then we got some runs and tied the game. Then I thought Carlos in the fifth kind of slowed down his tempo. You could tell he was fighting some of his mechanics.”
Sale (3-0) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings, throwing 105 pitches to beat Cleveland for the first time since May 1, 2012. He was 0-4 with an 8.61 ERA in four starts against the Indians last season.
“These guys are always tough on him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “They were tough on him last year, and for whatever reason they can foul off a lot of pitches. They probably see something off of him.”
Conor Gillaspie had a career-high four RBIs for the White Sox. Leadoff hitter Adam Eaton had two hits and scored three times as the White Sox picked up their ace on a sluggish night.
Chicago has scored 37 runs in its five home games this year.
“I think if we keep doing what we’ve been doing and making strides in the right direction, we can be a force, be a great team,” Sale said. “It’s fun to watch. I got to watch a lot of it tonight unfortunately.”
The White Sox have captured the first two games of their first series of the year against the Indians, who had a 17-2 record against Chicago last season.
Carrasco was tagged for five runs and six hits in 4⅔ innings. It was another shaky start for the right-hander, who allowed five runs in 5⅔ innings of a 7-3 loss to Minnesota in his season debut.
Gillaspie hit a sacrifice fly in Chicago’s two-run third inning, helping the White Sox build a 3-0 lead. Adam Dunn, who had two hits and walked twice, singled and scored on Alejandro De Aza’s base hit in the fourth.
Sale was unable to protect the lead. Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run double in the fifth and then scored the tying run on Nick Swisher’s single.
But Cleveland’s pitching struggled throughout the game.
“When you score and tie it up, you’ve got to go back out and take charge of the game,” Francona said. “They just kept scoring every inning.”
Chicago took the lead for good in the fifth.
Gillaspie singled in Eaton, and Carrasco was lifted for Marc Rzepczynski after striking out Jose Abreu for the second out of the inning. Rzepczynski walked Dunn to load the bases and then walked in a run as Dayan Viciedo came back from an 0-2 count to give the White Sox a 5-3 lead.
“Last time I faced him, I fell behind 3-0 and he swung, so I wasn’t just trying to lay it in there,” Rzepcznski. “I just missed with that. And any time you go 0-2 to a guy, you can’t walk him either.”
Gillaspie committed an error in the sixth, allowing Michael Brantley to score, but he responded with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom half, making it 7-4. Alexei Ramirez added an RBI single for Chicago in the seventh.
OF Michael Bourn went 1-for-5 with a stolen base in his second rehab start for Double-A Akron. Francona said Bourn, who has yet to play this season with a left hamstring strain, would be examined after the game and though Bourn would prefer to return to the big leagues Sunday, Francona said the team may hold off due to the wet conditions expected that day.
… Indians DH Jason Giambi (broken rib) made his first rehab start for Akron. He was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.
… The White Sox acquired OF Gorkys Hernandez from Kansas City for cash considerations and assigned him to Triple-A Charlotte.