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Indians 5, White Sox 4: Cleveland’s HBP counts

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At least the White Sox’ 14th loss in 15 games was more creative

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

With the bases loaded and the game tied at 4 in the eighth inning, Matt Davidson was hit by an Andrew Miller slider.

The problem? First-base umpire Lance Barrett ruled that Davidson could not check his swing. It was a coin-flip check that went against Davidson, and so Melky Cabrera had to return to third base. Davidson struck out for the fourth time in as many plate appearances, and so did a pinch-hitting Kevan Smith to leave ‘em loaded.

With the bases loaded and the game tied at 4 in the ninth inning, Gregory Infante drilled Brandon Guyer with a fastball up and in.

Guyer didn’t swing. Infante was just wild. In fact, he plunked the previous batter on his first pitch of the evening. That gave the Indians a 5-4 lead, and Cody Allen closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth.

This had the making of a stirring White Sox winner, although any White Sox winner could count as inspiring given their 1-12 start to the second half (now 1-13). Corey Kluber came into this one 5-1 with a 1.52 ERA over his previous 10 starts, and the Sox were able to erase a 4-0 deficit against him.

Jose Abreu provided three of those runs in the bottom of the third inning. After Adam Engel was hit by a pitch with one out and Melky Cabrera singled, Abreu opened up on a first-pitch fastball and smoked a laser out to left to make it a one-run game. Miguel Gonzalez held the Indians down and allowed the Sox to tie it, which happened in the sixth after two outs. Alen Hansen kept the inning alive with a lined double to right, and Tim Anderson drove him in with a blooper that dropped in front of Austin Jackson, who didn’t take the most direct route toward the ball.

After that, the whole game was a tease. In the seventh, Cabrera came mere inches away from tying it, as his majestic line drive hit the very top of the yellow padding on the wall in right center. Yolmer Sanchez bunted him to third, leading to an intentional walk of Jose Abreu and the call for Miller.

Miller plunked Yoan Moncada on the kneecap with a slider to load the bases, then did same to Davidson on an 0-1 slider. The problem was that Davidson actually semi-offered at it.

The Sox created more traffic against Miller in the eighth, as Hanson found success to right field and moved to second on Anderson’s bunt. Engel walked, and when it looked like Cabrera had grounded into a 5-3 double play, Jose Ramirez bounced the throw to first, allowing Engel to take third. Alas, Sanchez struck out in another non-competitive at-bat.

Instead, Aaron Bummer suffered his first major-league loss in his second major-league game. Rick Renteria tested some limitations with Bummer, because after he retired Michael Brantley to end the eighth to bail out Jake Petricka, he used Bummer in the ninth against a wave of righties.

Bummer struck out Edwin Encarnacion and induced a groundout from Ramirez, but Carlos Santana coaxed a walk and Austin Jackson stayed back on a breaking ball for a blooper to right. Renteria then called for Infante, who handed his teammate the loss without making the Indians put the bat on the ball.

Bullet points:

*Moncada made a couple of brilliant plays at second base — one a cross-body throw from behind second base, and the other a backhanded glove flip to Jose Abreu.

*The White Sox pinned a weird line on Kluber: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, 1 HR

*Gonzalez threw a more ordinary six innings, shaking off a five-hit, three-run third to get a quality start out of it.

*The White Sox wore 1917 uniforms that looked pretty fresh, and Jason Benetti and Steve Stone had fun with it, too.

Record: 39-62 | Box score