Cleveland Indians complete double-headed sweep of Chicago White Sox with 5-3 win

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Indians, before the 60-game season began, discussed the pros and cons of an initial five-man rotation and an initial six-man rotation. They decided to go with five starters, but on Tuesday night Adam Plutko reminded them that a six-man rotation also has its benefits.

Plutko, who would have been the sixth starter, came out of the bullpen and threw six strong innings as the Indians completed a double-headed sweep of the White Sox with a 5-3 win in the night cup. They won the first game, 4-3.

The sweep gives the Indians a 4-1 record and keeps them first at the AL Central.

Plutko (1-0, 3.00) continued a strong start because of manager Terry Francona’s rotation. They are now 4-0 with a 2.32 ERA in six games. The starters have struck out 34, while allowing eight earned runs in 31 innings. They have walked three and allowed 24 hits.

In Tuesday’s sweep, Aaron Civale and Plutko kept Chicago’s loaded lineup to four runs on 12 hits in 12 innings. The bullpen wasn’t bad either. The relievers allowed two runs over six innings in the sweep. Brad Hand saved the first game and rookie Cam Hill saved the second.

“Civale did a great job passing me the baton and I just wanted to pass the baton to my bullpen,” said Plutko.

Carlos Rodon (0-1, 12.27), who made his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on May 15, 2019, was rushed by the Indians. In the past, he pitched well against them (5-3, 2.49), but on Tuesday night he was too long away from this type of competition.

José Ramírez and Francisco Lindor reached consecutive doubles for a 1-0 lead with one out in the first. Carlos Santana followed with a two-run homer for a 3-0 lead.

James McCann kept Chicago close with a home run in the second, but Rodon was unable to pass the fourth. He walked the loaded bases with an exit when Steve Cishek relieved him. Oscar Mercado singled to left to score Franmil Reyes and Domingo Santana with a 5-1 lead.

“It felt good,” Mercado said. “I am gaining confidence. It is always good when you can go through a situation as big as that. I had a bad turn against him in the first game. I didn’t see the ball very well.

“Then, when I came out again, I was glad I was able to catch him. The competitive nature in me wasn’t going to allow him to catch me twice. “

The double header helped spark the offensive. Or maybe it was Monday’s postponement that led to Tuesday’s double undercard that helped revive Indian hitters.

Carlos Santana entered without hits Tuesday in eight at-bats for the season. He went 2 for 2 in Game 1 and added two more hits in the second game.

Lindor was 2 of 14 in the season opener against Kansas City. On Tuesday he went 2 for 3 in the first game with his first home run of the season. He added a double RBI in the second game.

Mercado opened the season 1-7, but his two-run single was a key success in the second game. But it wasn’t as important as his work to save runs and perhaps to save games in center field.

The White Sox put 5-3 in the eighth with a double by José Abreu and a single by Nicky Delmonico. Dominic Leone had withdrawn the first two men he faced, but Abreu and Delmonico had given Chicago hope. Leona, after a visit from pitching coach Carl Willis, faced Zack Collins, who sent a liner to center field. Mercado ran the ball down and seemed to scale the base of the wall in the center to make the catch that ended the inning.

“That’s a saving game right there,” said Francona.

The only runs Plutko allowed were on McCann and Abreu home runs. McCann homered in the second and Abreu homered in the sixth. Plutko retired 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced. That included hitting the side in order in the room.

Hill, in his second major league appearance, retired the White Sox for his first major league save.

“I just told myself to keep things simple,” Hill said. “The game does not change. It’s still 60 feet, six inches. You have to make your pitches and get your outs. At the end of the day, he only wanted three outs. It didn’t matter how I got them.

Cleveland Indians face masks

Fanatics has released facial masks for the Cleveland Indians, with sales benefiting two charities. See details and product links below.

New Indian face masks for sale: This is where you can buy Cleveland Indians-themed face liners for coronavirus protection, including a mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All MLB proceeds donated to charities.

More Indian coverage

What does the coronavirus increase mean for the Browns and MLB boot camp? Daryl Ruiter’s guests on Monday’s ‘More Sports & Les Levine’

Corey Kluber lasts 1 inning at 1st start in 15 months

Coronavirus Outbreak Strikes Miami Marlins; Home opening Monday vs. Orioles postponed

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander went out for at least two weeks with forearm strain

Carlos Carrasco returns to the initial rotation and José Ramírez returns to his previous form (podcast)

Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox series preview, pitching clashes

Cleveland Indians starters, relievers follow leader with Shane Bieber