The Cleveland Indians, who eked out a split in a doubleheader on Sunday, must gear up to play another doubleheader Monday against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
The Indians gained a split of the doubleheader and averted a sweep in the three-game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays Sunday when a sacrifice fly by Jose Ramirez capped a two-run bottom of the seventh for a walkoff 6-5 victory.
The Indians had scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth of the seven-inning game to tie the game at 4. The Blue Jays regained the lead in the top of the seventh.
“This was a very good comeback win for us,” said Indians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who filled in for manager Terry Francona, who was attending his daughter’s wedding. “I kept hearing conversations in the dugout that were very positive. Let’s have good at-bats. Let’s keep grinding and they came through.”
Francona will rejoin the team on Monday.
The White Sox, who defeated the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 on Sunday, swept a doubleheader from the Orioles on Saturday.
With the doubleheaders in mind, White Sox starter Lucas Giolito knew that he had to pitch as deep as possible in the game on Sunday to help preserve the bullpen.
“That was one of the biggest goals was going as deep as I possibly could,” Giolito said. “Any game after a doubleheader where we play 14 innings, it’s on that starter the next day to give it their best effort and pitch deep.”
Giolito went seven innings, allowing one run on three hits with 12 strikeouts and three walks.
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks had a busy weekend, earning the save in both games of the doubleheader on Saturday and he picked up the save again on Sunday.
According to Elias, Hendriks became the first White Sox pitcher to have saves in both games of a doubleheader since Bobby Jenks on Sept. 4, 2010, against the Red Sox in Boston. “Having (Hendriks) and the deepness of our bullpen in front of him gives us a real chance to stay in contention and really be serious about October,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said.
Hendriks, who has 13 saves, has converted nine straight save opportunities. He has not allowed an earned run over his past 14 games covering 12 2/3 innings.
Hendriks admits he sometimes needs to turn the intensity he shows on the mound on and off.
“I can’t remain focused and that intense for an extended period of time,” he said. “So, even in between innings, I need to turn it off a little bit. And then with two outs kind of turn it back on just to get that mindset back, in the way of attacking the zone and being aggressive when I’m on the mound.”
Right-hander Triston McKenzie (1-3, 5.94 ERA) will start the first game of the doubleheader on Monday for Cleveland, which did not name a second-game starter. McKenzie is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three career outings (two starts) against the White Sox.
The White Sox are expected to start lefty Carlos Rodon (5-2, 1.29), but have not said whether it will be the first or second game. Rodon is 7-5 with a 2.65 ERA in 19 career appearances (17 starts) against Cleveland. Jimmy Lambert (0-0, 0.00) may be called up to make his first major league start in the other game. Lambert appeared in just two games for the White Sox last season and one was against the Indians, when he pitched one inning, striking out one and giving up a hit.
–Field Level Media