Encarnacion, Chicago’s poor defense boost Indians to 9-6 win
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians took advantage of their extra chances Monday.
Edwin Encarnacion homered and had four RBIs, and the Indians capitalized on three errors to score five times in the fifth inning for a 9-6 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland trailed 5-2 going into the fifth, but errors by catcher Alfredo Gonzalez, shortstop Tim Anderson and second baseman Yoan Moncada made three of the runs unearned.
The Indians also strung together three hits and a walk, and sent nine batters to the plate. Encarnacion tied the game with a three-run bloop double. Yonder Alonso’s double drove in the go-ahead run.
“It’s a good way to win,” manager Terry Francona said. “Any time you keep pushing, or get a line moving, however you want to say it. You know, going first to third, doing some things like that. That’s a good way to play.”
Encarnacion hit a leadoff homer in the seventh, his 12th of the season.
The White Sox committed two errors with Yan Gomes batting in the fifth. Gonzalez dropped a foul popup in front of the White Sox’s dugout. Anderson fielded Gomes’ grounder at shortstop, but his throw to first was in the dirt for another error.
The Indians loaded the bases on a force play, a single and a walk, ending starter Dylan Covey’s day. Luis Avilan retired Jose Ramirez on a popup.
Chris Volstad entered the game but right fielder Daniel Palka, shaded toward right-center, couldn’t make a sliding catch after getting his glove on Encarnacion’s fly ball that landed near the foul line.
Jace Fry faced Alonso, who doubled to center for a 6-5 lead. Moncada booted Melky Cabrera’s ground ball to score another run.
“I was shaded the other way and had a long way to go, but the ball just popped out of my glove,” Palka said. “It should’ve been caught.”
“We took advantage, for sure,” Alonso said. “No question about it, but we came to play today. We played good defense. We pitched well. And we hit well.”
Adam Plutko (3-0) allowed five runs in five innings and has won all three of his starts this season. Tyler Olson, Evan Marshall and Neil Ramirez combined to pitch three shutout innings. Ben Taylor allowed a run in the ninth.
Volstad (0-3) gave up Encarnacion’s double, the only batter he faced. Chicago’s poor pitching and defense spoiled a memorable major league debut for Matt Skole, who homered and singled.
Skole, called up from Triple-A Charlotte before the game, started a two-run rally in the second with a single. The left-handed hitting first baseman homered in the fourth, a 418-foot shot into the right-field seats.
Skole, 28, signed as a minor league free agent with the White Sox in January after spending seven seasons in the Washington Nationals organization. He was called up when Matt Davidson went on the 10-day DL with back spasms.
“It was surreal,” said Skole, who was given both baseballs and his game jersey. “I was just floating for the first couple of innings. I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better for my big league debut.”
Anderson followed Skole with a homer in the fourth.
Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a first-inning single and Francisco Lindor had three hits.