Stunner slam: Eaton caps Sox thrilling comeback

Stunner slam: Eaton caps Sox thrilling comeback

CLEVELAND -- Highlights of the White Sox improbable but exciting 10-7 comeback victory over the Indians on Wednesday night at Progressive Field will prominently feature Adam Eaton's first career grand slam capping off a five-run ninth against Cleveland closer Cody Allen.

Eaton connected on an 0-2 offering, while adding a degree of difficulty by blowing a bubble with his gum upon contact, putting an exclamation point on the end of a seven-game White Sox losing streak against the American League Central leaders. But Eaton's heroics would have never been possible if not for the crucial previous moments.

"I've felt one of those before," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the gut-punch from losing a ninth-inning lead. "For us, we realize what it feels like but we realize it can happen, too."

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This final frame started innocently enough, with Justin Morneau striking out on three pitches.

Todd Frazier, who struck out six times in the first two games of this series, fell behind 1-2 but then beat out an infield single to shortstop Francisco Lindor. The important part of that play was Lindor trying to nail Frazier at first, throwing wildly and sending Frazier to second on an error, meaning J.B. Shuck's ensuing infield hit up the middle would have been a fielder's-choice grounder for the second out.

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Tim Anderson drew a walk to load the bases, laying off a 3-2 fastball, and Dioner Navarro blooped a single off third baseman Jose Ramirez's glove to cut the lead to one. Even with the game now truly on the line, there wasn't much hard contact off Allen.

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No hard contact, that is, until Eaton connected on a knuckle curve and dropped the Indians to 62-1 when leading after eight innings.

"I just knew the pitch I took before that, I was going to get the same pitch," said Eaton, who took a first-pitch knuckle curve, swung and missed badly on the second offering and launched the third. "I was just going to try to make contact. That's usually when good things happen, to be honest with you, when you're not trying to do too much and you're just trying to make contact. I'm happy with the result and happy with the win."

Wednesday's rally marked the first time the White Sox scored five runs in the ninth to win a game since April 25, 2014, at home against the Rays. It also shows the fight of the White Sox and their ability to have something bubble up late even down 11 1/2 games in the standings.

"Hopefully, we can get going in the right direction," Eaton said. "Time is limited, but we know what we can do in a month. We can win 15, 20 games in a month, month and a half if we really put our minds to it.

"We still won tonight, which was nice. We've talked about losing games you shouldn't lose and winning games you may have stolen. It's nice to be able to steal one."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.