Covering the Bases: Game 29
White Sox 5, Indians 3 (10 innings)
FIRST: You just knew we’d have a Chris Perez vs. Alex Rios rematch eventually. On Thursday in Chicago, Rios took exception to Perez’s celebration after saving a 7-5 win over the White Sox. The two exchanged words on the field and Rios complained in postgame comments to the media about Perez’s antics.
Well, Rios got his revenge. In the 10th inning on Tuesday night, Rios sliced a fastball from Perez into the right-center field gap for an RBI triple. That broke open a 3-3 tie and helped ignite a two-run inning for Chicago. Perez picked up his first loss since Sept. 10 last season… when Rios hit a walk-off grand slam off the closer.
Lifetime, Rios has hit .300 (3-for-10) with one home run, two triples, five RBIs and one shouting match against Perez. Save all the complaints about using Perez in a non-save situation. That argument is tired (That means you, Camino). Perez was perfect in such scenarios going into Tuesday and he had a 0.75 ERA over his previous 13 appearances.
SECOND: Justin Masterson wasn’t at his sharpest on Tuesday night. You don’t need to look any further than the five walks issued for evidence. That said, the White Sox only managed two runs on six hits in six innings against the sinkerballer. Masterson didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled his way to a quality start and kept the Tribe within striking distance. The offense did rally to tie the ballgame, allowing Masterson to escape with a no-decision.
THIRD: The three-run rally in the eighth inning was fine and all, but there was also the matter of the seven scoreless innings that came before it. Cleveland managed only three hits in the first seven frames and the club ended the day 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. It was an overall poor day for the offense, which leads us to our final item of the evening.
HOME: As much as possible, you will continue to see teams throwing lefties at the Indians throughout the season. With such a lefty-heavy lineup, you can bet teams like the White Sox will play the percentages over and over and over. Tuesday’s game included lefty John Danks, lefty Chris Sale and lefty Hector Santiago. That led to an 8-for-34 showing. On the season, the Tribe is now 4-7 against left-handed starters and has a .223 team average vs. lefty pitching.
White Sox (14-17) at Indians (17-12)
at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Progressive Field