In fairer weather, Austin Jackson would've had a homer, a double and four RBIs before he came to the plate in the seventh inning. But on a cold windy day, nothing was moving to left field, and he only had a couple of outs to show for it.
Instead, the leadoff replacement for Adam Eaton (whose wife is in labor) settled for table-setting with a low-to-the-ground single, and the hitters behind him feasted for five runs off Bryan Shaw, transforming a 3-2 deficit into a comfortable victory.
With the Sox trailing by one, perhaps Robin Ventura could've justified calling for Jimmy Rollins to bunt, as he hit into a double play in a similar situation three days ago. But he gave Rollins the green light, and Rollins avoided the shift by inside-outing a slider past third base for a double. That still took the bat out of Jose Abreu's hands, but this time, an intentional walk loaded the bases for Todd Frazier with nobody out, which is fine.
Frazier didn't win it himself, but his bouncer to the left was good enough for a run-scoring 6-4 fielder's choice to tie the game. Melky Cabrera kept the line moving by dropping a single to right, getting Rollins home for the lead. Then, after Brett Lawrie flied out to center for the second out, Avisail Garcia came through by hammering an 0-2 fastball over the wall in right for a three-run dinger to give the Sox a 7-3 lead.
Stout relief work by Matt Albers -- after an ineffective one-batter appearance by Zach Duke -- brought the victory home with the same score.
Up until the seventh, the game had the making of a disheartening defeat. Chris Sale found his command after a rocky first two innings -- the second ending with a checked-swing, 3-unassisted double play -- to set 12 Indians down in a row. The offense gave him a couple runs, including a Jose Abreu laser-blast to left and an Alex Avila single that Rajai Davis kicked in center to score Garcia.
The game took an abrupt turn in the sixth. After Sale struck out the first two batters, Francisco Lindor sneaked a seeing-eye single through the left side. Sale then came back with a first-pitch changeup to Mike Napoli, and a good one. But Napoli must've been ready for it, as he reached out and connected, sending it over the wall in center to tie the game out of nowhere.
One inning later, the Indians took their first lead when Yan Gomes tagged a 3-2 fastball and lined it into the White Sox bullpen for a 3-2 lead.
Sale recovered to finish the seventh, and that effort was good enough for his second win after the White Sox rallied on his behalf.
*With his two scoreless innings, Albers has strung together 23 scoreless appearances.
*Abreu had a perfect day at the plate, adding a single and two walks (one intentional) to his homer.
*Frazier showed off some range to his left with a diving stab and throw.