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Rapid Reaction: Indians 9, White Sox 4

4/13/2013

CLEVELAND -- Home runs off the bats of Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Yan Gomes paved the way as the Cleveland Indians topped the Chicago White Sox 9-4.

How it happened: White Sox starter Chris Sale lasted just 4 1/3 innings after allowing eight earned runs. Sale was provided two runs of support in the first, but a two-run home run from designated hitter Nick Swisher in the bottom of the first would quickly erase the early lead. The wheels would completely fall off for Sale in the fifth inning, as he loaded the bases on two base hits and a hit batter. A grand slam off of the bat of Indians’ first baseman Mark Reynolds and another hit batter would seal his fate. He struck out just three batters while walking two. Indians starting pitcher Zach McAllister dominated the White Sox through his 6 1/3 innings of work, striking out six and walking none while allowing one earned run. Alejandro De Aza took a full-count pitch from Tribe reliever Bryan Shaw 408 feet to right field for his second home run of the season.

What it means: The White Sox have now dropped their fifth straight game and will remain at the bottom of the AL Central. Manager Robin Ventura had recently praised his veteran position players for not panicking early in the season, but Chicago cannot seem to find an answer when it comes to consistent starting pitching. Left-hander Jose Quintana is the only pitcher to get out of the sixth inning in the team’s past four games.

Outside the box: The eight earned runs by Sale sets his career-worst mark (32 starts). He had allowed five runs in four different starts in 2012. It also marks an end to the dominant streak against the Indians. In his three previous starts, Sale had a record of 2-0, striking out 37 batters in just 34.1 innings of work. After allowing the grand slam to Reynolds, Sale hit Indians left fielder Michael Brantley with a pitch. He would receive a warning from home plate umpire Ed Hickox.

Offbeat: White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers went 0-for-4 on the afternoon, failing to get a ball out of the infield while striking out three times. He has not recorded a hit in his past 21 at-bats. Flowers undoubtedly has power; but his long swing, coupled with not playing every day, has led to little success through the early portion of the 2013 season.

Up next: The White Sox will look to avoid their second-consecutive sweep, closing out their three-game series against the Indians on Sunday afternoon at 12:05 CT. Jake Peavy (1-1, 5.56 ERA) will square off against former Chicago relief pitcher Brett Myers (0-1, 12.19 ERA).