For 26 innings, the White Sox had nary a hope of victory against the Cleveland Indians. Staring down a series sweep and fifth consecutive loss thanks, in part, to a dominant performance by Corey Kluber, Dayan Viciedo came to the rescue, blasting a three-run homer off of John Axford in the ninth inning to give the White Sox a 4-3 victory on Sunday.
The inning provided ample opportunity for heroics, but Viciedo was not the first choice. After Gordon Beckham worked a leadoff walk, Jose Abreu, who provided the Sox with their only run to that point with a solo homer in the first, came up with an opportunity to tie the game only to strike out, one of 15 on the day for the team. Adam Dunn, though, followed that up by working his second walk of the game, setting up Viciedo, who took Axford's 2-2 fastball to the right field bleachers.
Viciedo's homer came on a day when the offense was positively 2013-esque. Kluber was dominant through eight innings, striking out a career-high 13 — at one point seven straight — on 110 pitches. After Abreu's first-inning homer, he allowed just two more hits, both singles by Viciedo and Leury Garcia.
The unsung hero on Sunday, though, was a bullpen that has seemed to come back to earth a bit after a miserable start to the season. Andre Rienzo went only 4.2 innings and, quite frankly, was lucky to only allow the three earned runs that were charged to him. He allowed 11 baserunners — seven hits and four walks — while striking out just two. He allowed a pair of homers to the consistently average George Kottaras and Lonnie Chisenhall, who for some reason was playing DH while Carlos Santana was at third, had three hits and drove in the Indians' other run.
But after Rienzo left, the bullpen held Cleveland's offense in check as the combination of Zach Putnam, Ronald Belisario and Daniel Webb combined to allow just one hit and one walk over the next 3.1 innings prior to Viciedo's homer.
Matt Lindstrom allowed the tying run to get to second in the ninth after a Chisenhall single and passed ball by Tyler Flowers before striking out Asdrubal Cabrera to end the game.
The win was the White Sox's lone victory during the five-game road trip against divisional foes Detroit and Cleveland. They come back to Chicago Monday for a split four game series against the Chicago Cubs. Monday and Tuesday will be at Wrigley Field and Wednesday and Thursday will be at U.S. Cellular Field.
Team Record: 15-17
Next game is Monday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on WCIU.
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