By Scott Merkin and Cody Stavenhagen
MLB.com |@scottmerkin |
CHICAGO -- Cody Anderson turned in his best performance of the season, striking out nine over seven innings of one-run ball, as the Indians claimed a 5-1 victory over the White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field in Game 2 of their doubleheader. The teams split, with the White Sox winning the opener, 7-6, but they have lost nine of their past 13.
"That was really good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "One, we needed a win, but it was nice to see him pitch like that."
"He's got a nice fastball," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Anderson. "But the changeup/breaking stuff was much better than we've seen it before."
Anderson gave up one run on five hits, picking up his first victory after starting 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA. He improved to 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA lifetime against the South Siders. The White Sox scored their run in the third on Todd Frazier's two-out double and Melky Cabrera's ensuing single to left.
"The understatement would be that we were excited with the way he threw the ball," Francona said.
"He had really good stuff today," White Sox center fielder Austin Jackson said. "He was throwing all of his pitches for strikes. Kind of keeping us off balance and we just really couldn't get anything going off of him."
Cleveland used the long ball to chase Erik Johnson, making his second start as a callup from Triple-A Charlotte. Johnson was optioned to Triple-A after the game. Jose Ramirez went deep with one out in the second and homered in both ends of the doubleheader. Rajai Davis launched a two-run shot on a 3-0 pitch with two outs in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie, and former White Sox infielder Juan Uribe went deep opening the seventh. Johnson gave up five runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking three.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Green means go: Davis got the green light on a 3-0 count in the fifth and took advantage. Davis drove Johnson's pitch into the seats for a two-run home run to give the Indians a 3-1 lead. It was the first 3-0 home run of Davis' career and only the second time he has put a ball in play on a 3-0 count, the other resulting in a double.
"He's a good fastball hitter, and a hit can help you more than a walk there," Francona said. "We give the guys the freedom to do that probably more than people realize."
"Certain situations like the 3-0 to Rajai, where you have an open base, you have to be smarter than that than to throw one right over the plate," Johnson said.
Frazier keeps rolling: Although the White Sox were shut down by Anderson, Frazier continued his hot streak. He singled in the first and doubled in the third, giving him three straight multihit games. Frazier is 19-for-54 with seven home runs, 16 RBIs, 14 runs scored and 10 walks over his past 13 games.
Powered up: Ramirez's second-inning home run was only his third of the season, but it was his second of the day. Ramirez homered in the eighth inning of Monday's first game, the went deep again in his next at-bat in Game 2. More >
Purke in relief: Johnson had a better outing than his first start this season against Boston but was done after 6 2/3 innings. So it was up to Matt Purke to finish things off from there, working 2 1/3 scoreless frames.
"Yeah, you might have a different outlook on that than myself. You better be 100 percent sure on that one. ... It worked out where it saved [Bryan] Shaw an earned run, but that's not our ultimate goal there. ... You need to be 100 percent, and fortunately it worked out. -- Francona, when asked about Uribe's "nice" play to cut down a runner at home with a 5-1 lead in the eighth
"I think this is the best I've seen in a while of just letting it go, control, things like that. They got him for the home runs. But as far as throwing it, he looked free and easy and letting it go."-- Ventura on Johnson, who has lost both spot starts this season
THAT'S A LOT OF GAMES
Cleveland played the franchise's 18,000th game in the first game of the doubleheader. The White Sox played their 18,000th in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
SCORING EARLY A MUST
The White Sox are 20-6 when scoring first. They are 7-13 when their opponents score first.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: After Monday's doubleheader, right-hander Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians on Tuesday against the White Sox at 8:10 p.m. ET. Tomlin is 6-0 with a 3.56 ERA and has not lost since Sept. 15, 2015, against the Royals.
White Sox: Chris Sale (9-0, 1.58 ERA) goes for his 10th straight victory to open the season and his 11th straight dating back to Oct. 2, 2015. That streak of 10 stands as the seventh-longest in White Sox history (Elias Sports Bureau/STATS). Sale has 62 strikeouts and a .163 opponents' average over his first nine starts this season.