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José Abreu grounds out with bases loaded, Cleveland Indians hold off Chicago White Sox 6-5

James Karinchak earned his seventh save despite allowing two runs in the ninth inning.

CLEVELAND — AL MVP Jose Abreu grounded out with the bases loaded to blunt a ninth-inning rally against Cleveland closer James Karinchak, giving Shane Bieber and the Indians a 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Bieber allowed two earned runs in seven innings, striking out seven to beat the AL Central-leading White Sox for the second time this season. The Tribe (30-24) pulled to within 2 1/2 games of Chicago for first place.

Down 6-3, the Sox (33-22) rallied in the ninth. Zack Collins and Nick Madrigal hit RBI singles off Karinchak and a walk loaded the bases for Abreu, but he sent a chopper to Amed Rosario at shortstop. Despite his struggles, Karinchak earned his seventh save.

Cleveland struck first with infield RBI singles by Josh Naylor and Harold Ramirez, and after falling behind 3-2 Ramirez drove in his second run in the third to tie it. One inning later, Austin Hedges made up for an earlier fielding error by hitting a two-run homer to the porch in left, giving the Indians a lead they would not relinquish.

Billy Hamilton drove in two with a double in the second before coming home to score after the ball got away from Hedges. Bieber would settle in from there, allowing just two more hits to pick up his sixth win.

Having taken three of their last four, the Indians will go for the series victory Wednesday afternoon, although a rainy forecast could put a damper on those plans. It will be the first time since 2019 that Progressive Field is allowed to open at full capacity, and rookie Jean Carlos Mejia (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to make his first career big league start against former All-Star Lance Lynn (6-1, 1.37).