Abreu sacrifice fly, Eaton homer make difference in three-run eighth
Jose Abreu drove in the go-ahead with a sacrifice fly to left field, and Adam Eaton tacked on a two-run homer as the White Sox defeated the Indians 8-6 in the first game of a doubleheader Monday for their fifth win in a row.
In the eighth inning of a game scheduled for seven, Abreu knocked in Billy Hamilton, the free runner at second who stole third base. Eaton, playing for the first time after missing the Sox’ four-game sweep of the Orioles over the weekend, homered against righty James Karinchak.
Sox manager Tony La Russa called Abreu’s at-bat, in the shadows against tough right-hander James Karinchak, one of the “greatest” he’s seen in that type of situation.
“I’ll never forget it, and our fans will never forget it,” La Russa said.
Indians right-hander Triston McKenzie struck out 10 Sox, including a club record eight in a row, but allowed five runs on four hits and two walks. The major league record for strikeouts in a row is 10.
The Indians (28-24) are in second place behind the AL Central leading Sox, who won for the seventh time in eight games and 17th time in 24.
Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon, who threw a no-hitter against the Indians on April 14, battled through six innings, allowing a season high five runs that raised his ERA to 1.98. Cesar Hernandez and Armed Rosario homered to start the first inning against Rodon, and Hernandez homered again in the third inning. Rodon, who threw 85 pitches, struck out Hernandez with a 99-mph fastball, his final pitch, with the go-ahead run on third and a runner at second.
“I just knew, probably at the end of the last pitch of the game for me I was going to give it all I had on that fastball,” Rodon said. “Wanted to challenge him. Because he hadn’t seen one like that yet.”
“That was a whole eight innings of character,” La Russa said. “Rodon gets in there and it’s forest fire right away. You saw what McKenzie was capable of . Everybody that pitched and played showed character to match their talent.”
The Sox (33-20) scored four in the second on a two-run double by Zack Collins, with a third run (Leury Garcia) scoring when second baseman Hernandez bobble a relay. Collins scored from third when Tim Anderson was picked off and in a botched rundown between first and second, crossing the plate before Anderson was tagged out.
The Sox led 5-4 when Yoan Moncada singled leading off the sixth, advanced to third on two wild pitches and scored on Yermin Mercedes’ fielder’s choice ground ball to Hernandez, who back hand flip trying to force Abreu hit the Sox first baseman’s helmet.
The Indians tied it against Rodo the sixth when Bradley Zimmer beat out a roller to Anderson at short with Josh Naylor on third.
Codi Heuer (4-1) pitched a scoreless seventh and Aaron Bummer pitched the eighth for his first save. Close Liam Hendriks was not available after a heavy workload against the Orioles.
Rodon allowed nine hits and a walk.