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White Sox 2, Indians 1: Carson Fulmer hangs with Corey Kluber

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Kevan Smith strikes for both runs in season’s penultimate game

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

For a night, Carson Fulmer and Corey Kluber were equals.

Both pitched one-run ball while limited to five innings for different reasons — Fulmer coming back from a blister, Kluber tuning up for the postseason — leaving a duel for the expanded bullpens. But Fulmer was able to leave with the win, while Kluber had to settle for a no-decision that froze his record at a measly 18-4.

From their lines, you couldn’t tell them apart:

  • Fulmer: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 84 pitches, 59 GScr
  • Kluber: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 81 pitches, 58 GScr

Both pitchers only ran into trouble once, and not because of impressive offenses.

In the fourth, Kevan Smith was the fourth consecutive White Sox hitter to make soft contact, yet the Sox still scratched a run across with it. Jose Abreu had reached with one out on an infield single, then moved to second on Avisail Garcia’s weak bouncer, which allowed him to score on Smith’s broken-bat flare that fell into short right center.

The Indians tied it up with soft contact of their own. The White Sox almost turned an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, but it developed slowly enough for Francisco Lindor to beat the throw to first, allowing Yan Gomes to score after his one-out HBP.

The Sox untied it as soon as they could against Mike Clevinger. Garcia drew a nine-pitch walk, then came all the way around from first when Smith split the right-center gap with a more resounding double.

The Indians had no such success against the White Sox bullpen. Five White Sox relievers held the Tribe hitless over the last four innings. Aaron Bummer and Danny Farquhar each issued a walk, but only one of them even made it into scoring position, and that was on a two-out stolen base. Juan Minaya recorded another save with another 1-2-3 inning.

As a result, Fulmer finished his second MLB stint with a 3-1 record and a 3.86 ERA over 23 13 innings, giving everybody a much better idea of how he might provide MLB value (he had both breaking pitches working today).

As a whole, the White Sox were able to play spoiler one more time, at least to a small degree. Cleveland’s loss eliminated their chance of securing home field advantage in the World Series.

Bullet point:

*Abreu went 2-for-4, which effectively locks in a .300 average on the season unless he goes 0-for-13 in the season finale.

Record: 67-94 | Box score