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Indians 5, White Sox 1: Dingers doom Erik Johnson

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AL Central lead remains at 2.5 games.

David Banks/Getty Images

If you exclude the home runs, Erik Johnson looked pretty good tonight. Instead, Cleveland's power game continued into the nightcap as the Indians blasted three more dingers to split the doubleheader, winning 5-1.

Johnson started the game strong by striking out Rajai Davis and Jason Kipnis. In the second inning, Jose Ramirez hit his third home run of 2016 to give Cleveland the early lead, 1-0. After the homer, Johnson came a bit unglued, walking both Jose Uribe and Lonnie Chisenhall. After a mound visit from pitching coach, Don Cooper, Johnson was able to turn a 1-4-3 double play on a chopper from Chris Gimenez to end the threat.

The White Sox would score their only run in the third inning. After Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino both struck out, Todd Frazier hit a ground rule double to left-field. Melky Cabrera singled to left field and as Frazier was rounding third, Ramirez miss played the grounder allowing Frazier to score, and Cabrera advanced to second. Indians pitcher, Cody Anderson, would end the threat by striking out Jose Abreu.

In the fifth inning, Chisenhall lead it off with a single to right field. Running on the first pitch, Chisenhall didn't give Saladino a chance to turn two on Gimenez's grounder. That base running play became crucial as Johnson struck out Michael Martinez, which could have ended the inning. Instead, on a 3-0 pitch, Rajai Davis crushed an 89 mph fastball to give Cleveland the 3-1 lead with a two-run homer. The final home run Johnson allowed was to fan favorite and ex-Sox, Juan Uribe in the seventh inning.

Johnson's final line 6.2 IP 6 H 5 ER 3 BB 5 K's 3 HR. In his two starts, Johnson has given up five home runs in just 11.2 IP. Flip side, Cody Anderson had an ERA of close to 8 before tonight, earned his first win of 2016 going 7 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 9 K.

Game notes:

  • In the last five games, the White Sox are 5 for 34 with runners in scoring position. In the eighth inning, Austin Jackson hit his second triple of the season but was thrown out at home by Uribe on Saladino's grounder.
  • Batting fifth in the lineup, Jose Abreu was 1 for 9 at the plate, including 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
  • Carlos Sanchez was optioned to Charlotte before the game.
Record: 27-19 | Box ScorePlay-by-PlayHighlights