For the second straight game, Nick Swisher played the hero. For the first time in its five-year run, the White Sox lost on the day of the South Side Sox meetup.
I guess that's as good a way as any to stamp out any remaining embers of the season.
With Jesse Crain trying to hold a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning, Swisher followed a pair of singles by Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis with his own bouncer up the middle. Kipnis scored, the Sox couldn't answer, and now they're 14 games under .500 with one day left in June.
It's the same story -- the Sox offense could've blown this game open a number of times, but they instead went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11. Now, 3-for-12 isn't an awful performance in a vacuum, but three runs against Ubaldo Jimenez is disappointing.
The Sox did build a 3-1 lead through five, but they left runs on the table both times.
In the second, after Tyler Flowers doubled home Conor Gillaspie and moved Gordon Beckham to third, Alejandro De Aza popped up the first pitch and Alexei Ramirez struck out.
The fifth was less frustrating, because the Sox did all their damage with two outs, moving two runs across with four consecutive successful PAs (walk, single, single, walk) before Flowers struck out with the bases loaded.
But the Sox didn't pose much of a threat afterward, and that allowed the Indians to climb back in it. Dylan Axelrod threw the definition of a quality start -- three runs over six innings -- but two of them came on Kipnis' two-run homer in the sixth. It was the second one Axelrod allowed on the afternoon.
He still outpitched Jimenez, and the defense helped out by turning four double plays with zero errors. Beckham was responsible for the most impressive twin killing, as he maxed out his vertical to snare a liner and flipped to second for the second out, ending the eighth.
Dayan Viciedo also made a pair of diving catches. This was the kind of effort the Sox could have used to steal other games. In this one, it wasn't enough.