A Great Trip Ends on a Sour Note as Indians Lose to White Sox 6-2: Three Takeaways from the Loss
The Indians had a fruitful road trip playing two AL Central foes, the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox, winning five of six games with a rain out in Minnesota as well.
Sunday though was not their day, as the team dropped a 6-2 decision to the Sox, with both the offense and pitching, which had been dominant the past few days, both not living up to play from the previous games of the road trip.
The Tribe well get a much needed day off on Monday, then be back in action against the 13-6 Houston Astros, leaders in the AL West at Progressive Field for the first of three starting on Tuesday.
Here's the three takeaways from the finale of the three-game set in Chi-town, a losing effort that saw little go right for the Tribe on Sunday.
1. Salazar's Struggles
It was not a good day for Indians starter Danny Salazar (1-2), as after back-to-back shutouts he was hoping to follow that up with a solid outing for the Tribe going for the sweep, and it just didn't happen.
The Indians starter allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings, with a lot of it coming early, with the Sox breaking through with three first inning runs to put the Tribe behind the 8-ball.
An error by Abraham Almonte and a walk right away spelled trouble for Salazar, and it just looked like he didn't have the same zip as the last two days with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco being able to do whatever they wanted against the Sox.
Salazar was able to keep the Indians in the game, but their offense just didn't have it as well Sunday against Sox starter Derek Holland.
The Tribe starter will be back on the mound Friday night at home against the Mariners.
2. Plate Issues
Francisco Lindor tried what he could to get the Indians back it the game with a solo homer in the 3rd to make it 3-1, but overall Derek Holland was solidly in control for most of the day against the Indians at the plate.
It probably shouldn't have come as a shock, as now Holland is a lifetime 7-1 against the Indians.
There was one great chance for the Indians to get back into it, that came in the fifth when Austin Jackson led off with a double and Abraham Almonte followed with a walk.
After both runners then advanced a base on a wild pitch, the inning went downhill from there, as Holland struck out three of the next four batters, working around a two-out walk to Carlos Santana to load the bases, to escape the jam.
This road trip was defined by big hits and taking advantage of big situations, but Sunday was clearly not one of those days.
3. Let's Not Lose Sight of a Great Week
There was plenty of people jumping off the bandwagon last Sunday on Easter as the Indians slumped to their worst mark of the year at 5-7.
Now a week later, the team is tied with the Tigers for the best mark in the Central at 10-8, and they look a lot more like the 2016 AL Champs that were able to put a hot September and October together and come within two runs of a title.
They got contributions from their offense as well as some stellar pitching, and even the bullpen when needed was able to do what they do best which is get out of jams in close affairs.
Now it will be interesting to see them come back to Progressive Field, where they got off to a tough start losing 4 of their first 6, for two interesting AL West teams - the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners, with the first game of those six kicking off on Tuesday at 6:10pm.