CHICAGO -- Trevor Bauer overcame an early bout of wildness to work seven quality innings, and three solo home runs off of White Sox ace Chris Sale were enough to give Cleveland a 3-2 victory Monday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox loss snapped their four-game winning streak.
Bauer walked the first three hitters he faced in the second, on 12 pitches, but allowed only two hits to Avisail Garcia over the seven he worked, while striking out six. Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen closed out the Cleveland win.
"That's not exactly how you draw it up," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "The 12 straight balls, I think everybody's stress level probably went up a little bit. ... But, Trevor really reeled it in. From that point on, he pitched his tail off. That's probably more exciting, just because of the struggles of the second, to see him pitch that well the rest of the way."
Ryan Raburn homered twice for the Indians and Mike Aviles added a third solo shot. Sale has made 112 career starts, and Monday marked just the third time he has given up more than two homers in a game, as he yielded seven hits in seven innings and 108 pitches. His career high was four homers allowed on Aug. 23, 2013, against the Rangers, and he also gave up three homers to the Indians on Sept. 15, 2013.
"Between Aviles and Raburn, there were a few pitches there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Solos don't really bother you unless you're not going to score very much."
With the victory, the Tribe were five games behind Texas in the American League Wild Card race. The White Sox dropped to seven games back.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Raburn-ing the White Sox: Four of Raburn's eight multi-homer games in his career have come against Chicago, which he has tormented over the years. With his two homers on Monday, the veteran utility man upped his career marks vs. the White Sox to 20 homers, 82 RBIs and 107 hits. His second-highest totals in each category (12 homers, 25 RBIs and 50 hits) have come against Kansas City. More >
"This is a great ballpark. I love coming here," Raburn said. "I've had good success. Hopefully it continues. We have a few more games here. We have a good run [going]. We just have to keep playing hard and hopefully we can keep rolling off some wins."
"We've seen him and he's good," Ventura said of Raburn. "He must like hitting here or against our guys. I don't know. Maybe it just suits his eye, I don't know."
Scoring without a hit: The White Sox scored their two runs in the second inning and didn't need a hit to bring home either. Bauer walked the first three hitters, and runs then scored on Carlos Sanchez's fielder's choice grounder and Tyler Flowers' long sacrifice fly to right. The White Sox lamented postgame not scoring more in this situation, with Sanchez swinging at the first two offerings from Bauer after 12 straight pitches outside the zone.
"At that point, he's almost trying to give it to you. We didn't get anything out of it," Ventura said. "We got two hits, Avi got two hits off him. Apparently, he was doing something good besides the wildness. But he was attempting to give it to you and we couldn't do anything with it."
Down, but not out: Before Raburn's onslaught, Aviles got the Tribe on the board with a leadoff homer in the fourth. In an 0-2 count, Aviles pulled an inside, 94-mph fastball into the left-field seats for his fifth homer of the year. Prior to that blast, Sale had held batters to a .138 average and .184 slugging percentage with 52 strikeouts in 87 at-bats ending with an 0-2 count this year.
Sale(ing) toward a record: Sale struck out eight, giving him 247 strikeouts for the season. The southpaw sits just 23 strikeouts away from breaking Ed Walsh's single-season franchise record of 269 set in 1908. More >
"It's cool to talk about. It's stuff to talk to your buddies and family about, I guess," Sale said of the strikeouts. "But I see [a reporter] wearing a postseason lanyard right there, you don't get to the postseason on strikeouts.
"You don't get to the playoffs with fancy numbers and stuff like that. You get there by wins. Everybody in this clubhouse and everybody around Major League Baseball will tell you there's one thing that's important and that's winning. We just got to try to do that more."
"It's nice to have a start where it's a struggle and I still am able to pitch innings and come out of it OK. It seems like I have starts where I just cruise the whole time or I struggle and never figure out how to get deep into the game, so it's nice to have one like this." -- Bauer
"He's always ready to hit a lefty. And I think, because Ray's a good hitter, he can hit righties, too. But, his job here is to hit lefties and, when it's time, he gets in the box and he's ready to go. And he hits in the middle of the order for us and he acts like a middle-of-the-order hitter." -- Francona, on Raburn
GOING DEEP, ONE RUN AT A TIME Erik Johnson and Sale each allowed three homers in the last two starts for the White Sox. All six were of the solo variety, and five came when the White Sox hurler was ahead in the count.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Cleveland is expected to activate right-hander Carlos Carrasco (12-9, 3.53 ERA) from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday in order to start against the White Sox in an 8:10 p.m. ET start at U.S. Cellular Field. Carrasco, who has not started since Aug. 21, has a 1.36 ERA and .134 opponents' average over his past five starts.
White Sox:Carlos Rodon makes his 21st start and 24th appearance of the season Tuesday night (7:10 CT) against the Indians. Rodon needs just four innings to set a pro single-season high, but manager Robin Ventura has no intentions of shutting down the rookie at this point.