Zach McAllister pitched his best game in quite a while, holding Chicago to 2 runs over 6 innings, striking out 7 in the process. Zach has had his ups and downs in this his first stint as a major-league starting pitcher, but as the season comes to a close, he's become this club's best hope for the future. Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez (and even Roberto Hernandez) may have had histories of success that McAllister hasn't, but based on what we've seen of those pitchers this year, Zach is the one that is the better bet to have a successful 2013 season.
The Tribe offense matched McAllister's performance. They had a very difficult matchup; Chris Sale was starting, and not only is Sale a left-hander, but one of the best pitchers (regardless of handedness) in the American League. But despite the team's history of having trouble against southpaws, the Indians got 10 hits off Sale, making the Chicago ace throw 118 pitches to get through seven innings. The Indians got on the board in the third inning thanks to an Asdrubal Cabrera double, and tacked on two more runs on a Russ Canzler opposite-field two-run homer.
The White Sox cut the lead to 3-2 when Adam Dunn took McAllister deep in the sixth inning. Dunn, along with what seems to be rest of the White Sox lineup, has been struggling lately, but he broke out of his slump with his 40th home run (the 6th time he's accomplished that feat). But the Indians were still set up to win the game, with a rested Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano, and Chris Perez waiting in relief. Smith was outstanding in his inning, striking out the side. Pestano retired the first batter in the eighth inning, but a walk, and a ground out would bring Dunn to the plate with two outs in the inning. And Dunn would connect on a Pestano pitch, hammering his 41st home run, a three-run shot that would plate what proved to be the winning runs.
The Indians would not go quietly, however. Chicago manager Robin Ventura would eschew using Addison Reed his closer, instead going with Matt Thornton against a lineup full of left-handed hitters. But it seemed this approach would backfire, as Casey Kotchman would single up the middle, but a Lou Marson grounder back to the mound was turned into a double play thanks to some quick hands by Alexei Ramirez. The Indians would not quit, though, for Ezequiel Carrera would single, leading to Thornton's removal. But instead of Reed coming in, Ventura went with another left-hander. Donnie Veal had spent most of his season in AAA Charlotte, but had had very good success as a LOOGY over the past couple weeks, and with Shin-Soo Choo coming to the plate, Ventura banked on the matchup overcoming the situation. Veal made Choo look foolish on two breaking balls, but his third one hung a bit, and Choo was pulled the inside pitch down the right field line for a double that cut the Chicago lead to 5-4. But Veal would induce a grounder to second to end the game and get his third professional save (and first major-league save).