CHICAGO— The Cleveland Indians are heading home from the South Side after splitting a series with the Chicago White Sox.
On Thursday, the Tribe came away with a 5-2 win thanks to a couple of crucial homers and a couple of key mistakes by Chicago. With the victory, Cleveland avoids slipping in to a three-game losing skid.
Here are three takeaways from the win.
1. Lindor and Ramirez homers save the day
Both Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor provided Tribe fans with highlights on Thursday afternoon.
Lindor started the game off with a bang, with a leadoff homer in the first inning on just the third pitch to give the Tribe an early 1-0 lead. The homer was his 15th of the year. It was no doubt a fitting way to begin the third year anniversary of his big league debut.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the seventh inning, it was Ramirez’s turn to make some offensive fireworks happen. He took a 93.7 mph sinker and turned it into a home run to center, also plating Lindor to give Cleveland a 4-2 lead. Ramirez had gone nine days without a homer, but the one on Thursday was his 20th this season. Ramirez is just the fourth player to reach that mile marker, joining L.A.’s Mike Trout, Boston’s J.D. Martinez and Oakland’s Khris Davis. He’s also now reached base safely in the last 22 games.
2. Here comes the Sun
Mike Clevinger continued his strong season with another aggressive start on Thursday afternoon. He gave up just two runs (one earned), one walk and five hits en route to striking out 11 in his seven-inning outing. He earned his fifth win of the year in what ended up being his ninth quality start.
Overall, Clevinger did a good job of getting ahead of the count early, and was not hesitant about attacking the strike zone to start at-bats, as evidenced by his first-pitch pitch chart below.
And for as good as Clevinger was, it was relieving to see the offense manage to find a way to drive in a few runs late.
3. Still struggling with RISP
The Tribe at least had the homers from both Ramirez and Lindor, but their other two runs happened because of Carlos Rondon walking in a run and Yan Gomes reaching home on an error.
Throughout this four-game series, the Tribe struggled mightily capitalizing with runners in scoring position. On Thursday afternoon, they were just 1-for-9 and had eight total runners left on base. For the series , that brings their total to just 6-for-41 (.146) with runners in scoring position, on top of the 32 men they left stranded.
With a nine-game homestand coming up, hopefully they can find a way to get some offensive momentum going.