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Friday, April 12, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Indians 1, White Sox 0

By Scott Sargent
Special to ESPNChicago.com



CLEVELAND -- Here's a quick look at the Cleveland Indians' 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night:

How it happened: Nick Swisher took the first pitch he saw from Sox relief pitcher Jesse Crain and placed it right over the outstretched glove of Paul Konerko, driving in the only run in a walk-off victory. Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson improved to 3-0 with a complete-game shutout, striking out seven and walking one. Crain suffered his first loss of the season after giving up two of Cleveland's three hits. Sox starter Jose Quintana put together seven innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven with no walks. After Matt Thornton came on to pitch a perfect eighth inning, Crain allowed a one-out double to Indians' center fielder Michael Bourn who would score on a game-winning single from Swisher. The Indians managed just three hits on the evening, but managed to capitalize on a pitch-count decision from Chicago manager Robin Ventura.

What it means: After a subpar first start of the season, Quintana stifled the Indians. Given how overworked the Sox bullpen was in Washington, a starter eating up innings has to be a welcomed relief to Sox manager Robin Ventura. The White Sox, however, now fall a half-game behind the Indians for last place in the Central Division.

Outside the box: The Sox managed just two runners in scoring position. Despite strong efforts from the starting pitching, the Sox could not execute on their few opportunities to plate a runner. Cleveland capitalized on the Chicago call to the bullpen.
With his complete game shutout, Masterson has now thrown 19 consecutive scoreless innings, topping his personal best from June of 2012.

Off beat: After Connor Gillaspie doubled to deep left to lead off the eighth inning, Alexei Ramirez popped a bunt attempt up to Indians catcher Yan Gomes. A groundout followed by an Alejandro De Aza strikeout squashed all momentum the Sox could muster.

Up next: Chris Sale (1-0, 1.84 ERA) will square off against Cleveland's Zach McAllister (0-1, 3.00 ERA) at 3:05 p.m. CT Saturday.