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Indians survive a late scare to defeat White Sox 9-7

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One way to prevent a bullpen meltdown is to score so many runs that it doesn’t matter.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians held on to defeat the White Sox 9-7 this afternoon in a game that shouldn’t have been as close as it was. With a four-run first inning and a two-run second inning the Tribe made the most of the afternoon a formality as Carlos Carrasco cruised to his 14th win of the season. White Sox fans weren’t completely robbed of excitement, as Adam Engel put on a show in the loss. He clubbed a home run to start their late rally and tripled in the bottom of the ninth to drive in two more, but it wasn’t quite enough to close the gap.

At the plate

The Indians started hot thanks to excellent two-out hitting. Michael Brantley singled to start the party, then Yandy Diaz smoked a single at 103 MPH to — where else? — right field. Yonder Alonso followed up with a single of his own to score Brantley. While Diaz failed to complete a first-to-third journey, it didn’t matter in the end; Melky Cabrera homered in the next at bat to stretch the score to 4-0 — all scored with two outs. It would have been worse, too, but Jason Kipnis crushed a ball 400 feet into the only part of the park it couldn’t leave.

Things continued to get worse for Sox starter Dylan Covey, as he never quite figured out how to get the third out of an inning. In the second inning Kipnis singled to score Greg Allen from second pretty much as the ball hit the ground. Yandy Diaz then singled to right field (yep), bringing the sixth run of the game home in the form of Jason Kipnis. The Indians put up three more in the seventh and eighth thanks to a singles by Diaz (center!) and Kipnis and a sacrifice fly from Yan Gomes.

The spots of the order that led the charge for the Tribe make sense today even if the hitters aren’t the ones we’d normally expect. Kipnis and Diaz both laced three hits and two RBIs from the three and four holes, respectively. Alonso and Cabrera, the next two hitters in the order, earned two hits apiece. Alonso should have had a home run, too, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

On the Mound

Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco posted the following line this afternoon: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. That’s an acceptable afternoon of baseball. The last few starts from Carrasco feel like he wanted to remind the world that he finished fourth in Cy Young voting last season. If he continues to pitch at this level for the rest of the season, the Indians may very well have three top-10 starting pitchers in October.

The bullpen struggled a little bit this afternoon. Adam Cimber continued his struggles since arriving from the Padres as he allowed two solo home runs in an inning of work. Things didn’t get any better in the bottom of the ninth with Dan Otero. He recorded a single out and allowed two runs of his own, leaving with two runners on and the White Sox trailing by four.

Cody Allen came in at that point and gave up a two-run triple to Adam Engel, but he closed out the game and preserved the win.

In the field

We need to talk about this catch by Adam Engel.

It’s a great catch, but I’m sure Engel is more worried about how he’s going to get pictures of Spiderman on his editor’s desk by noon on Monday without blowing the cover that he’s just a center fielder for the White Sox. This should have been a three-run home run by Yonder Alonso. Instead, it was the third dinger robbery by Engel in the White Sox’ home stand.

Did the Monstars get to Francisco Lindor?

I hope not, but this is the worst game we’ve seen from Frankie in a while. He struck out four times, earning the dreaded golden sombrero. While he did draw a walk, he got thrown out at second base trying to steal.

Frankie may just need a day off, and it makes since that he couldn’t take it today; it would have been a bit dicey to give Ramirez and Lindor the same day off.

The Indians travel to Cincinnati tomorrow to finish the Ohio Cup. If you thought today’s lineup was odd, you might be scratching your head once you see the lineup cards Tito draws up with Encarnacion hurt, Leonys Martin sick, and Diaz on the 25-man roster.

Now, stop reading and go watch Tiger.