Tom Withers CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians blew some early scoring chances against Jose Quintana and lost 8-1 to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night, keeping them from getting closer to an AL Central title.
The Indians‘ magic number dropped to two after Detroit lost earlier to Kansas City. They could have lowered it to one, but now have to win their home finale Sunday and hope the Tigers lose again for Cleveland to clinch the division in front of its fans.
Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu hit RBI singles in the first off Cody Anderson (2-5), and Todd Frazier connected for his 39th homer in the sixth as the White Sox snapped a six-game losing streak.
Quintana (13-11) gave up one run in six innings and beat Cleveland for the second time in 11 days.
The Indians committed three errors, threw two wild pitches and had a passed ball as their first Central championship since 2007 stayed just out of reach.
With his rotation in disarray because of injuries, Indians manager Terry Francona started Anderson and used seven relievers — hardly an ideal situation for a team trying to lock down a postseason berth.
The Indians, though, wasted opportunities against Quintana — he threw 53 pitches in the first two innings — and the left-hander got better as the game progressed.
Cleveland loaded the bases in the first and second innings, but only managed to score one run on an RBI single by Rajai Davis. Coco Crisp didn’t help matters by getting thrown out rounding second on Davis’ hit.
Anderson gave up two runs before recording his first out as the White Sox jumped on the right-hander, who was only going to pitch a few innings anyway.
Cabrera hit an RBI double and Abreu followed with a run-scoring single off Anderson, prompting Francona to get a reliever up in the bullpen sooner than planned.
The White Sox went ahead 3-1 in the fifth on Cabrera’s second RBI single.
Frazier made it 4-1 with his 421-foot shot to left off Shawn Armstrong. The White Sox added four runs in the eighth.
White Sox: CF Adam Eaton will miss at least Chicago’s next two games after he scarily crashed into the padded wall Friday night. Eaton was shaken after hauling in Roberto Perez’s drive. He stayed on the ground for several minutes and had to be helped to the dugout.
“If anybody’s ever been in a car accident it’s kind of the same thing,” said Eaton, who passed concussion tests. “You’re kind of taking inventory of the body parts and making sure everything is back to where it’s supposed to be.”
Indians: Francona would like to give his players some rest in the season’s final week — if possible. Francisco Lindor, who is hitless in his last 25 at-bats, could use a break, but Francona acknowledged it’s tough to get fully re-charged at this point.
“I’m not sure a day off just puts the spring back in your legs,” he said. “I think it helps, but I just think you’ve got to learn, that’s part of growing up as a major league player.”
White Sox: Carlos Rondon starts the club’s final road game of 2016. He’s 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in his past two starts.
Indians: Josh Tomlin’s role in the postseason remains unclear. He could help himself with an outing similar to his last start, when he allowed one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.