Napoli, Indians tee off on Shields, rout White Sox
CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Indians made Saturday night's game a no-doubter early.
Mike Napoli homered during a five-run first inning and the Indians became the latest team to tee off on James Shields, routing the Chicago White Sox 13-2.
Rookie Tyler Naquin homered, had three hits and drove in a career-high four runs. Juan Uribe also homered for Cleveland.
The AL Central-leading Indians are 6-2 against the White Sox this season, including five straight wins. Cleveland sent 19 batters to the plate in the first two innings while building an 8-0 lead against Shields.
''It's a good way to play,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. ''It doesn't happen very often. You take it when you can get it.''
The crowd of 31,066, the second-largest of the season at Progressive Field, began chanting ''Let's Go, Cavs!'' in the late innings. The Cavaliers meet Golden State in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.
Shields, making his third start since being traded from San Diego to Chicago, was tagged for eight runs on seven hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Shields is 2-9 overall this year. The former ace is 0-2 for the White Sox, giving up a whopping 21 earned runs on 24 hits and nine walks in just 8 2/3 innings. In his first two games for Chicago, he was hit hard by Washington and Detroit.
''It's disappointing, and we've got to figure this thing out,'' Shields said. ''We've got to keep going out there. That's the only way to go. This is a special team and I've got to keep grinding.''
Danny Salazar (8-3) won his fourth straight start, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander, who gave up Jose Abreu's two-run homer in the sixth, struck out seven.
The Indians led 4-0 after Shields had thrown 11 pitches. Napoli, breaking an 0-for-16 skid, connected for a three-run drive, and Naquin and Francisco Lindor had RBI singles in the inning.
Asked if he fell asleep watching his offense put up the early runs, Salazar laughed and said, ''I tried not to. One thing I put in my mind was the game was tied zero-zero. It makes the game a little slower. You're not rushing.''
Uribe's RBI single in the second chased Shields, who slowly walked to the dugout after handing the ball to manager Robin Ventura.
Naquin, who was 3 for 3 with two walks, hit a two-run triple in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth. Uribe and Lindor each finished with three hits.
''It's fun for the offense to come alive like that, everybody swinging the bat and hitting the ball all over the yard,'' Naquin said.
Salazar has allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of his 13 starts and is tied with Josh Tomlin for the team lead in wins.
''Danny's stuff was so good,'' Francona said. ''You see the velocity, but his changeup almost looked like a breaking ball at times.''
Salazar is second among AL starting pitchers with a 2.23 ERA.
White Sox: OF Melky Cabrera was replaced by a pinch hitter in the fourth inning. He injured his right wrist attempting a diving catch in the third. X-rays taken during the game were negative.
Indians: Uribe (testicular contusion) returned to the lineup after missing four games. The third baseman was sidelined after being hit by a groundball last Sunday.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon is 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA in five career games against the Indians, striking out 26 over 29 2/3 innings.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco allowed two runs in six innings in his last start on June 13 but was tagged with a 2-1 loss at Kansas City.