Indians 5, White Sox 1
Indians improve to 23-20
It was not all home runs that drove up the score for the Cleveland Indians tonight, but it was damn close. The first four runs of the night came via the long ball before Jason Kipnis had the audacity to break the streak and hit a run home with a single to center field.
Jose Ramirez started things off with a solo shot in the second inning, his fourth home run of the season and second on the night after Game 1's blast. Rajai Davis started up a streak with his home run in the fifth inning that also scored Lonnie Chisenhall. And finally, the evolved form of Jose Ramirez, Juan Uribe, hit a home run in the seventh before Jason Kipnis broke the home run scoring streak five batters later with an RBI single.
Starting today as the 26th man on the roster, Cody Anderson was surprisingly dominant. His seven-inning effort would have been a shutout, but Jose Ramirez had an out-of-body experience and thought he was back in the infield again, attempted to poorly field a bouncer coming at him in left field, and booted the ball halfway to Rajai Davis in center field. The official scorer still gave Melky Cabrera a hit and an RBI, despite the fact that the Chicago White Sox's third base coach was telling Todd Frazier to stop prior to the error.
Ramirez's blunder was the only defensive collapse this game, as opposed to the comedy of errors experienced by the Indians in Game 1 of this doubleheader. I do not know what kind of pep talk they had in between games, but I assume it involved Juan Uribe somehow and it worked, either way. Francisco Lindor even added a great defensive play of his own, grabbing a ball hit hard to second base, twirling, stopping at the exact right moment, and nailing the runner at first. The officials declared it a base hit, but only because they wanted an excuse to watch the play several more times in slow-motion at several angles. It was overturned in a matter of seconds.
Despite how confident Matt Underwood seemed during the broadcast, I really do not thnk this one good outing from Cody Anderson puts him next in line for a rotation spot automatically. This is the same team he dominated in his first outing, and we know how the next few games after that went. The bottom line is we cannot (and, more importantly, the Indians cannot) ignore the string of bad starts he has had this season. There is still work to be done with Anderson, and he can get that work down in Triple-A where his frozen rope fastballs do not give the city of Cleveland simultaneous heart palpitations.
Taking at least one of these games was of the utmost important for the Tribe, as over the next two days they will face Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Nobody panic, but it could get ugly before they head back home. The only bad news about the Indians winning Game 2 of the doubleheader is that Josh Tomlin is not guaranteed to win tomorrow. He will have to rely on his Little Cowboyish charms and over-aggressiveness to win instead of his voodoo magic.