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Indians 4, White Sox 3: Late-arriving offense can't finish job

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Dan Jennings' ugly seventh inning creates too large of a deficit to overcome

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bullet point recap, as I missed the first half of this game...

*Dan Jennings took the loss in this one, and he deserved it by giving up -- and giving away -- three runs. He started the seventh inning of a 1-1 game by walking Brett Hayes to start the inning. Then, when presented with a chance to cut down the lead runner on a bad bunt by Michael Bourn, he threw the ball well behind the Hayes, who was sliding into second.

The Indians tried letting Jennings off the hook multiple times. There was the bad Bourn bunt. Hayes had a chance to take third when the throw bounced into center field, but stumbled while gettting up. Then Jason Kipnis dropped down a good one, but looked over his shoulder for half the trip to first base instead of busting it all the way. That allowed Conor Gillaspie to make a great barehanded play for the first out, but Kipnis should have beat it out.

Alas, Jennings kept asking for trouble, and Cleveland finally let him have it. When he fell behind Jose Ramirez 3-1, Ramirez bounced a single through the left side to give the Indians a 2-1 lead. And when Jennings fell behind Michael Brantley 3-1, Brantley roped a double to right to score two more.

*The White Sox offense almost covered for him.Gillaspie finally knocked Shaun Marcum out of the game with a solo shot to right with two outs in the seventh, and in the ninth, they loaded the bases with a single and two walks off Cody Allen, who had retired Melky Cabrera on a blistered lineout to center to start the inning.

Gillaspie got a first-pitch fastball to his liking, but he was late getting the bat head to it and popped out in foul territory. Alexei Ramirez took a good curve for strike one, then beat a second one into the ground on the left side. Fortunately, it was hit weakly enough that third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall had no play. That made it a 4-3 game, and Robin Ventura called for J.B. Shuck to pinch-hit, but Shuck got beat. He watched a well-placed fastball for strike one, swung over a curve in the dirt for strike two, and swung over a well-placed curve for the last out.

*While the ninth-inning effort was valiant, the first eight innings were a disappointment. Shaun Marcum, he of the right-handed 86-mph fastball and no MLB starts since the first half of 2013, held the Sox to two solo homers. We already talked about the one by Gillaspie, his final batter. The other was hit by Adam Eaton, and a no-doubter to boot, in the third inning. That was just the second homer of his White Sox career, coming more than a year since his first (April 12, 2014).

Besides the homers, Marcum allowed just two singles, and the Sox couldn't muster even one at-bat with runners in scoring position against him.

*Carlos Rodon's third start sat in between his first two. It was the most effective in terms of runs allowed (one over six innings), but he had more walks (five) than strikeouts (four). He also gave up four hits, but they were all singles, and he didn't face any terrible jams until his final inning of work.

He walked Jose Ramirez to start the inning, struck out Brantley, then walked Ryan Raburn. Nick Swisher followed with a single to center to load the bases, and Mike Aviles' sac fly to left tied the game at 1.

*The Sox turned two double plays behind Rodon, and the non-pitchers were back to their errorless ways. Too bad Jennings wasn't on board with that.

*Abreu's ninth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

Record: 18-19 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights