The 2015 White Sox now know what it's like to play the 2014 White Sox, and maybe this is the win that separates them from each other.
Entering the ninth down 3-0 and looking comatose all the while, Adam LaRoche continued the sleepwalking by striking out looking at three pitches by Cody Allen.
After the first out, though, Allen didn't record another. Avisail Garcia shot a double over first base, and the next six batters reached base, culminating in Melky Cabrera's deep fly ball to left center with the bases loaded that the Indians halfheartedly pursued, knowing that even a catch spelled the end of the game.
In between, Conor Gillaspie drew a big walk, then both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Alexei Ramirez then hammered a fastball over the head of Mike Aviles in center for a two-run double. (A real center fielder probably catches it; Aviles, an infielder by trade, didn't have a sense of the warning track or wall and awkwardly pulled up.)
That was the start of the cautious baserunning. Tyler Flowers blistered a single through the left side, but Ramirez held up to make sure it cleared the infield. That was fine, because Gordon Beckham followed with a broken-bat single to left to score Ramirez, tying the game.
The Sox kept hammering that side. Adam Eaton took a fastball out of the zone and lined it through, but Flowers had to check up to make sure it got to the outfield and only advanced 90 feet. That was fine, because Cabrera laid off a good 2-2 curve to work the count full, then redirected a fastball deep enough to end the ballgame.
Where was this offense for the first eight innings? Well, Trevor Bauer had something to do with that. He threw seven shutout innings, holding the Sox to just four hits and two walks while striking out seven.
But the Sox also missed out on a couple breaks -- like Cabrera's hot shot finding Lonnie Chisenhall for a rally-dampening 5-4-3 double play, and Gillaspie's drive to right hitting the wall for a double instead of going over.
John Danks, on the other hand, pitched better than his ordinary quality-start line indicated. Ryan Raburn scorched a full-count fastball for a 420-foot homer on 4/20 to give the Indians a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the other two runs on Danks' tab were more of the unfortunate variety.
For instance, Garcia double-clutched getting the ball in after tracking down Michael Brantley's double. If he hit the cutoff man instead of thinking about Brantley at second, Aviles would have stopped at third. Instead, he got the green light and scored for a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Brett Hayes hit another solo shot, but this was an ordinary, deep-ish fly that rode the wind a foot over the fence in left.
But Danks bounced back to pitch a scoreless sixth, and the bullpen held the Indians hitless and scoreless over the last three frames. Dan Jennings recorded five outs before walking Raburn with two down in the eighth (not necessarily a bad choice), and Zach Putnam finished the inning. In came David Robertson to "get some work," and after overpowering the Indians for a soft lineout and two strikeouts, he ended up with his first win. Nice work if you can get it.
*Eaton's OBP continues to rise after a single and two walks.
*Cabrera drew his first walk of the season, so now every starter has one in their column.
*Robin Ventura continued his aggressive use of two catchers. Flowers was in the game because Ventura pinch-hit J.B. Shuck for Geovany Soto in the seventh inning.
*First-pitch temperature was 46 degrees, but the crowd looked colder.
*Is there anything Carlos Rodon can't do?