CHICAGO — Ryan Raburn came through in the clutch Friday at U.S. Cellular Field, and not for the first time.
But this was different. The Indians needed a couple more runs to push their total to 16 (that is not a typo), ensuring that the Chicago White Sox would need a superhuman effort to rally.
The Indians didn’t need all 16 runs to win, but when the Sox closed the gap to 14-10 with three at-bats left, it was easy to imagine the home team gaining the momentum to turn the game around.
But after Mark Reynolds walked to lead off the seventh, Raburn hit a towering fly ball that cleared the fence in left for his ninth home run of the season to all but guarantee the Indians’ 19-10 win in the first game of a makeup doubleheader.
In the end, Raburn’s homer lost some of its import, because the Indians scored three runs in the eighth.
There was another reason the Indians might have had doubts about keeping a four-run advantage: The Sox came out in the first inning against Trevor Bauer and scored five runs, a lead that held up for only two innings.
“We knew we had a lot of time to come back,” Lonnie Chisenhall said. “And our guys stay positive.”
Because of the brevity of Bauer’s outing, Indians manager Terry Francona was forced to use his bullpen in a special way.
“These guys were going to pitch in a specific order, and they were going to have to stay in a specific length of time,” Francona said. “So it was a lot better to be up six than down six.”
It’s difficult to believe that White Sox starter Hector Santiago began the game by walking two batters but striking out the side. After that, he was hard-pressed to get anyone out.
The Indians batted around twice during the game, the first time in the second against Santiago, who gave up five runs on six hits and actually was allowed to come out for the third, inasmuch as manager Robin Ventura didn’t want to use his entire bullpen with another game looming.
It looked like the third would be another long inning for Santiago, but when he loaded the bases with one out, he was replaced by Brian Omogrosso, who induced Drew Stubbs to bounce into a double play.
But Omogrosso would get his, and Stubbs would play a part in that. The Indians sent 10 men to the plate in the fourth inning, scoring six more times on five more hits, including an RBI triple by Stubbs.
For the game, the Indians pounded on Sox pitchers for 21 hits, including 10 for extra bases. Raburn had the only home run and Stubbs the lone triple, but Jason Kipnis delivered three doubles, Lonnie Chisenhall had two, and Mike Aviles, Nick Swisher and Yan Gomes each contributed one.
The RBI leaders: Raburn four, Stubbs three, Chisenhall, Kipnis, Swisher, Gomes and Mike Aviles two each.
After struggling since his return to the big leagues June 18, Chisenhall spent the past two games making up for his slump, going 5-for10 with a home run and three doubles.
“I’m feeling better and better in the box to be able to help the club,” he said. “I knew it was just a matter of time before my swing would come around. It’s kind of a snowball effect. The ball gets bigger and bigger, and then eventually you cool off.”