CLEVELAND – With a chance for a celebration at home of a division title for the first time in nine years, the Indians bats went silent Sunday, as they were shut out by the Chicago White Sox 3-0.
The loss means the team will have to win their first title since 2007 at Comerica Park at some point over the next four outings against the Tigers, and if for some reason that goes horribly wrong, they have three games next weekend in Kansas City.
Likely though they will get it done at least once over the Tigers the next four days starting Monday, as they have dominated Detroit all season long, losing just twice to them.
Sunday belonged to Sox starter Carlos Rodon, as the lefty struck out a career-high 11 over eight dominant innings, allowing just two hits, both being singles.
Josh Tomlin, who took the loss to fall to 12-9, deserved a better fate. He allowed just two runs in his third straight good start on the mound, was very good and appears that all those concerns over his 0-5 August for now can be put to ease.
Overall, the Indians were very good at Progressive Field winning 53 of 81 games, and they had 11 walk-off wins, with nine different players getting game-winning walk-offs in some fashion.
The Sox scored single runs in the 5th, 7th, and 9th, and the Indians had their chances, with the best being in the 5th, when they finally got their first hit.
They had runners on second and third with one out, and Michael Martinez, playing for Francisco Lindor who is in an 0-for-25 slump and got a day off, flew out to shallow right and the runners couldn’t advance.
Then Rajai Davis struck out to end what was the best Tribe threat of the day.
The Indians will look to get it done on Monday night, as Corey Kluber will take the mound against Detroit. Kluber is 3-0 against the Tigers this season, and is sporting a 1.88 ERA.