CLEVELAND — Instant replay and a slew of walks did in the White Sox on Friday night.
Nick Swisher and his teammates made the most of an overturned manager’s challenge as the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 7-4 win over the White Sox at an energetic Progressive Field. David Murphy and Swisher both hit two-run homers off Hector Noesi, and the Indians bullpen shut down the White Sox to send them to their third straight loss.
Noesi, who had four of the six walks issued by White Sox pitchers, allowed six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. A high pitch count caught up with Noesi in Cleveland’s three-run fifth inning, though he nearly escaped unharmed.
“You put yourself in situations, falling behind, walking guys, and you get them in hitter's counts and put it in the middle and you're going to get hurt,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Some of them were fading away, (Noesi) gets ahead 0-2 and still leaves them somewhere for them to put a bat on it. They're the ones who did it. They put together some innings, and we didn't have an answer for it.”
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Leading 4-3 with two outs in the fifth and Lonnie Chisenhall at bat, the White Sox looked like they got out of the inning when Asdrubal Cabrera appeared to be thrown out stealing second base.
Indians manager Terry Francona immediately challenged umpire Dan Iassogna’s call, and 92 seconds later his team was alive as replay officials determined that Alexei Ramirez missed Cabrera’s foot with a swipe tag. Ramirez didn’t need a replay to know he missed the tag.
“It was a quick play,” Ramirez said through a translator. “I didn’t get a chance to think about how I was going to tag him or anything. I just went at it and tried to tag him. He had a good jump, but it was a quick play.”
The Indians’ response to a second chance came just as fast. Chisenhall singled the first pitch he saw after the delay to score the tying run off Noesi, and Swisher followed it up by launching a 0-1 slider for a two-run shot to give the Indians the lead for good.
Noesi allowed seven hits and struck out four before he gave way to Andre Rienzo.
“I feel like my release point with the fastball was just terrible tonight,” Noesi said. “I think it was just I tried to do too much tonight, and I left my fastball up and they hit the homer. And then I tried today a new grip with the slider, and I left that slider to Swisher up too.”
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Rienzo gave up a run and two hits while walking two in 1 1/3 innings as Cleveland stretched the lead to 7-4 with a run-scoring double by Carlos Santana in the seventh.
The Indians bullpen did the rest as John Axford, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen recorded 1-2-3 innings.
The White Sox took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning against Corey Kluber on an RBI double by Adrian Nieto and an RBI groundout by Leury Garcia. Murphy followed a Swisher single with a two-run homer in the second inning to tie the score.
The White Sox pulled back ahead, 3-2, in the fourth inning on Adam Eaton’s RBI double as Garcia scored from first. The Indians tied it when Noesi walked three batters in the fourth inning, including Chris Dickerson with the bases loaded.
But the White Sox regained the lead again in the fifth inning on a solo homer by Adam Dunn, his 14th.
That was all the damage the White Sox mustered against Kluber, however. He completed two more innings and handed it off to the bullpen. Kluber allowed four earned runs and eight hits over six innings.
“They just find a way,” Ventura said. “Even if they don't have their best stuff, they seem to find a way to get it through a game and manage it. Kluber is one of those. His offense kind of backed him up tonight, he ends up outlasting them and gets the win out of it.”