Tribe now 3-5
What a relief! This afternoon the Tribe managed to end a four-game losing streak behind another solid outing from Trevor Bauer and some good hitting against the left-handed(!) John Danks. But it wasn't without a few (mis-)adventures along the way, with the Tribe opening a 4-0 lead only to see the White Sox pull two runs back and then mount a serious assault in the 9th.
Ultimately, it all came down to Cody Allen, who was coming off a disastrous outing on Saturday in which he conceded four runs against the Tigers. Allen promptly walked the first batter and then hit the next to dig himself into a huge hole. However, Adam Eaton then helped him out by bunting himself out with two strikes, and after a spectacular piece of fielding by Jose Ramirez for the second out, it all came down to Allen vs. Abreu with runners on 1st and 3rd. As everyone held their breath, the Tribe closer struck out the Sox slugger in fine style to clinch the victory. A moment that you can relive in this video.
Trevor Bauer started the game in fine fashion, conceding just a couple of walks in the first three innings to become "the first MLB starter to begin a season with at least nine no-hit innings since Hideo Nomo went 10 to start 2001 season" according to Jordan Bastian. However, he almost immediately found himself in a 1-out bases loaded situation, which he somehow managed to extricate himself from. Unfortunately, Bauer wasn't quite so lucky in the 6th when, after walking LaRoche for the third(!) time, he ended up conceding a couple of runs. The Tribe's veteran relievers Scott Atchison (who struck out the Sox in the 7th), Marc Oneoutski and Bryan Shaw then preserved the 4-2 lead into the 9th.
One of the highlights of a highly entertaining afternoon was Bauer's confrontation with Jose Abreu, whom he managed to strike out twice in three ABs. The single Abreu made in the 4th was basically just bad BABIP luck on a very good pitch. Bauer's final line was 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 BB on 103 pitches; the video highlights are here. Although he has now conceded nine walks in 12 IP, he has done a very good job of keeping the ball in the park to date (which is something he struggled with in Spring Training).
It was great to see the Tribe finally getting to a lefty, albeit a rather mediocre one in John Danks. They recorded six hits and two walks against Danks, forcing him out of the game in just 4.2 innings with the Tribe holding a 4-0 lead. Lonnie Chisenhall did a lot of the damage, first with a single that was converted to a run in smallball fashion in the 3rd, with Perez reaching on a sac bunt fielder's choice error, Ramirez bunting them both over and then Bourn recording the RBI groundout. Chis then followed up with a 2-run double in the 4th, which you can see here. Carlos Santana continued his record of reaching base in every single game so this year with an RBI single (video) to make it 4-0 in the 5th.
The White Sox certainly helped out the Tribe wth some errant fielding that included a couple of errors and one or two other missed chances in the infield. Jerry Sands was the chief beneficiary of these, recording two infield hits (one of which was originally scored as an error). He's probably the only Tribe hitter on the credit side of the "BABIP luck" ledger so far this season.
LGFT Matt Albers had a fine outing, retiring four Tribe hitters in a row, including striking out the side in the 6th. Albers was an effective reliever for the Tribe in 2013, but missed nearly the whole of last year after signing as a free agent with the Astros.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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