The number 19 should probably represent Bob Feller when we're talking about Cleveland baseball, but Friday evening's action on the southside of Chicago was drawing comparisons to football scores in Friday's first baseball game of the day. For the folks looking for something special, this was another one of those sneak peaks of the phenom sent to the Indians organization in off-season, and Trevor Bauer's appearance provided a memorable scene.
If you gave up on the Indians after Bauer failed to get out of the home half of the 1st inning, when the White Sox led 5-0 with at least 17 innings left to play on Friday night, you missed something. I'm just not certain it was baseball. Another 25 runs would cross the plate before the brief intermission before a second game, one that Mother Nature was putting in jeopardy.
White Sox starter Hector Santiago didn't do much to impress in his 2+ innings of the work, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, while acutally striking out 5. However, he was the best starting pitcher in this one. The White Sox put up 5 on the former UCLA ace, by way of 2 singles, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, a walk, and a hit batter, and not necessarily in that order. Matt Albers had to finish the inning, and Bauer was on his way back to Columubs after another disappointing big league cameo.
It was the top of the second inning on June 28th, remember that inning and date, that the Indians showed the type of character that fans should want to see out of their team. Yan Gomes snuck a 1-out broken bat single into left field, but Lonnie Chisenhall couldn't move him over, forcing the situation for the Tribe bats with two outs in a massive hole, thanks to Bauer. Mike Aviles kept it alive with a double that he popped up to the perfect spot along the left field line at US Cellular Field, a ball that Alexi Ramirez just could not run down.
That's where the fun really started, when this contest got wild in a good way for the visiting team. Drew Stubbs knocked a hanging breaking ball to left field, to get them on the board at 5-2. Two batters later, the red-hot Jason Kipnis made it 5-4 with a double. Nick Swisher's single brought Kipnis home to tie the game at 5, with a lot of baseball left to play.
Matt Albers worked effectively, keeping the White Sox scoreless in the second and third inning, setting himself up to be the pitcher of record if the Indians did anything in the way of scoring the go-ahead run in the fourth inning. Coincidentally, the Tribe bats obliged. The Indians took the lead for good on Ryan Raburn's bases-loaded single, which made it 7-5. Extra base-hits from Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs were among the big hits from the Indians in a 6-run fourth inning.
Three more doubles, off the bats of Nick Swisher, Gomes, and Chisenhall were part of a 5th inning charge that extended the Cleveland lead to 14-5, but the White Sox didn't just go away after that. Bryan Shaw struggled to the point Cody Allen had to take over in the fifth inning, and after Allen gave up a pair, the Tribe's 14-10 lead seemed far from insurmountable.
With a little help from Ramirez, the Indians added three more in the eighth. Ramon Troncoso worked himself into a jam, surrendering hits to Asdrubal Cabrera and Kipnis, then waling Swisher with one out. Robin Ventura turned to Matt Lindstrom to keep it within reach for the south siders. Mark Reynolds hit one into the hole at short, but Ramirez tried to salvage an out on the play, but badly missed on a throw to third base, which meant 2 runs on the play, making 17-10 Browns Indians.
The Indians would add two more to make it 19-10, and Chris Perez worked a perfect ninth inning in a non-save situation, his first action in over a month. The Indians scored 19 runs for the second time this season, the first time they've repeated the feat since 1923. Every player in the lineup registered a crooked number in the hit column.