CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians had their chances, but the Chicago White Sox made them pay for leaving runners on base.
After leaving the final two of nine runners on base, the Indians surrendered a run in the bottom of the ninth inning and suffered a 2-1 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field Thursday afternoon. The Indians (84-62) dropped three of their four games against the White Sox (71-75) this week.
Despite the loss to the White Sox, the Indians saw their magic number for an American League Central Division championship drop to 11 with the Detroit Tigers’ 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Target Field earlier in the day.
The Indians left runners on base in the five of their nine at-bats, including the seventh and ninth innings, the last of which saw outfielder Coco Crisp strike out with runners on second and third bases with two outs.
In the bottom half of the ninth inning, catcher Omar Narvaez singled to shallow right-center field, and pinch runner Leury Garcia stole second base. Third baseman Carlos Sanchez drove in the game-winning run with a single to right field.
The Indians’ lone run of the game came when third baseman Jose Ramirez lifted a sacrifice fly to left field and drove in shortstop Michael Martinez, who singled to center field with one out in the top of the third inning.
Eventually, the Indians loaded the bases in the third when second baseman Jason Kipnis drew a walk and designated hitter Mike Napoli was hit by a pitch, but first baseman Carlos Santana grounded out to second base to end the threat.
The White Sox evened the score at 1-1 when designated hitter Jose Abreu blasted a solo home run to left field off of Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning.
After closing up the road trip with the loss to Chicago, the Indians will return home for a nine-game homestand, all of which come against A.L. Central foes in the Tigers, Kansas City Royals and White Sox.