James Karinchak is in one the worst stretches of his career. Coming into tonight, the Cleveland reliever had given up five hits, five walks, and five earned runs over his last three innings of work. Handed a three-run lead in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game, Karinchak whittled it down to a one-run lead, giving up four hits, one walk, and two earned runs.
Fortunately, with two outs and the bases loaded, Karinchak was able to get José Abreu to chase a fastball low and away on a 2-0 count, grounding out to Amed Rosario at shortstop to secure the too-close-for-comfort 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Karinchak nearly coughed up a lead built by a Cleveland lineup that pounced on White Sox starter Dylan Cease, though luck deserves a share of the credit for the damage done in the first inning. With two outs and Amed Rosario on first, Eddie Rosario was able to reach base on a strikeout when the third strike skittered away from catcher Zack Collins. Josh Naylor struck first blood with an RBI infield single, before a balk put runners at second and third. Yet another RBI infield single, this time courtesy of Harold Ramirez, gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
After Chicago was able to take a 3-2 lead in the second inning, Cleveland evened things up thanks to two unrelated men named Ramirez. José Ramírez delivered a leadoff double to start the bottom of the third, eventually scoring on a two-out single from Harold Ramirez.
In the fourth, Bradley Zimmer turned an impressive nine-pitch at-bat into a leadoff single before scoring the go-ahead run when Austin Hedges blasted a two-run homer onto the porch in left, gifting Cleveland a 5-3 lead. The Ramírez named José would come through again that same inning, adding a much-needed insurance run with an RBI double. Carrying the team is no small feat, as evidenced by the fact José was pulled from the game late due to dehydration.
Shane Bieber was solid. The White Sox were barreling up his curveball in the first couple innings, drawing blood in the second. With two outs and Jake Lamb on first, Bieber hung a curveball to Zack Collins, who singled to center field. Then Billy Hamilton came to the plate and lined a double to the wall in right-center, which is evidently something that the ordinarily light-hitting Hamilton now does. Two runs scored to tie the game, but Hamilton was able to advance to third on the throw home before swiping home plate once he saw the ball had gotten away from Austin Hedges.
The White Sox managed to put runners on first and second with no outs to start the third inning, but José Ramírez was able to turn a double play to help Bieber avert disaster. Fortunately, he settled down from there, only giving up a hit and a walk over his final four frames. Even without his best stuff, Bieber racked up seven strikeouts on the night.
TL;DR: Get some water for José. Pour some water on Karinchak.