When Carlos Rodon was scratched with shoulder stiffness just before 7 p.m., leaving Mike Pelfrey to make an emergency start against Corey Kluber, this game only had one outcome.
Sure enough, Pelfrey gave up four runs before he recorded an out, Kluber struck out 13 over seven innings, and the Indians picked up their franchise-record-setting 15th consecutive win with ease.
There were only a couple surprises:
No. 1: The White Sox got half the runs back in the first with a pair of solo homers off Kluber. Yolmer Sanchez went deep, and so did Jose Abreu. Take it back to Wednesday night, and the White Sox had homered three times over a five-PA span against Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.
And then the Sox only had two other baserunners against Kluber the rest of the night. Omar Narvaez had the lone remaining hit in the fifth inning, and Nicky Delmonico drew Kluber’s lone walk in the seventh.
No. 2: Rob Brantly pitched the ninth. He didn’t have to, either. Pelfrey at least went four, even if he gave up seven runs and three homers, and Chris Beck went 2 2/3 innings after giving his customary extra-base hit to the first batter faced. Jace Fry took some lumps to get the game through eight, and Juan Minaya was seen getting loose.
But Rick Renteria tipped his hand when Brantly was throwing in the bullpen during the second inning, and it wasn’t a tease.
Brantly only faced four batters, throwing an array of mid-60s floaters with one fastball registering at 76. Erik Gonzalez tagged one for a solo shot, but Brantly got three routine outs otherwise, fielding his position for two of them. He threw seven of his 12 pitches for strikes.
Record: 54-85 | Box score