On the day Melky Cabrera was traded away, and he might not be the last White Sox veteran moved before tomorrow's deadline, the White Sox won in dramatic fashion thanks to Matt Davidson's two-run walk-off homer and Carlos Rodon finding a groove.
Cleveland came into today with a nine game winning streak and Josh Tomlin on the mound. Befuddling White Sox hitters by keeping fastballs away on the outside corner, Tomlin had a no-hitter going through four innings. When Tomlin went back out to the mound to start the fifth, Indians coaching staff and trainers noticed something was right during his warm up tosses. Sure enough, Tomlin had to leave the game with tightness in his left hamstring.
That was a welcoming sign for White Sox hitters, who struck out five times against Tomlin and only Tim Anderson reached on a throwing error by shortstop Francisco Lindor. Reliever, Nick Goody, came in as Tomlin's replacement and was very good himself striking out five batters in 1.2 innings.
Replacing Melky Cabrera in the lineup was Leury Garcia, making his first appearance with the White Sox in more than six weeks. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Garcia made Goody pay for hanging a slider on 1-2 and smacked his seventh home run of 2017 for a solo shot.
That swing tied the game after Francisco Lindor leadoff the third inning with his 16th home run of the season. Sox starter, Carlos Rodon, struggled early with his fastball command, again, but after that home run to Lindor, things changed. Austin Jackson would single after Lindor's home run but was erased by a terrific 5-4-3 double play started by Tyler Saladino. Edwin Encarnacion hit a chopper into the 6-5 hole that Saladino stretch to grab it, and then on his knees, spun 360 degrees to fire a throw to Yoan Moncada covering second. With a quick transition, Encarnacion was easily out, and Rodon was through three innings only allowing one run.
Then Rodon got on a roll, pitching back-to-back 3-up 3-down innings in the fourth and fifth. Jose Ramirez hit his 32nd double in the 6th inning and stole third base, but was stranded there after Rodon struck out Encarnacion and Carlos Santana grounded out to Saladino.
Reaching the seventh inning, which is a victory these days for White Sox starting pitchers, Rodon struck out Brandon Guyer and Roberto Perez but allowed singles to Giovanny Urshela and Bradley Zimmer. With runners on the corners, manager Rick Renteria pulled Rodon who received a standing ovation. In his best start of 2017, Rodon's final line: 6.2 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 9 K.
Jake Petricka closed out the seventh getting Lindor to fly out weakly to left field and pitched a scoreless eighth. Tyler Clippard took over pitching duties in the ninth inning and quickly got two outs striking out Guyer, and inducing a pop fly from Urshela. Roberto Perez made things interesting as he hit a bullet down the left field line for a ground rule double and was lifted for a pinch runner, Erik Gonzalez. With the rookie Zimmer at the plate, Clippard got a foul tip strikeout to end the threat and keep the game knotted, 1-1.
Indians reliever, Bryan Shaw, tried to get the game into extras. After Yolmer Sanchez had grounded out to first base, Shaw made a mistake to Jose Abreu by hanging a slider up in the strike zone. Abreu drove the pitch down the left field line for his 28th double of the season and putting the White Sox in a position to win just their second game since the All Star break.
Matt Davidson had yet to hit a walk-off home run in his career but left no doubts on Shaw's 1-1 cutter was going to land.
A mammoth 422-foot blast to center field and Davidson delivered in the clutch with a two-run homer winning the game for the Sox, 3-1. The first walk-off homer by Chicago since Adam Eaton did it on July 8th, 2015 against Toronto.
Record: 40-62 | Box Score