The Chicago White Sox couldn’t hold on to a late three-run lead Thursday and lost to the Indians 5-4 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
The Sox scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead, but the Indians answered with four in the bottom of inning on the way to completing a four-game sweep. Jose Ramirez drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run double.
The Sox (34-23) lost for the sixth time in seven games and trail the idle Minnesota Twins (35-22) by one game for first place in the American League Central. The third-place Indians (33-24) pulled within one game of the Sox and two of the Twins.
Third baseman Yoan Moncada began the top of the seventh with a triple to left-center. He scored when Yasmani Grandal grounded out to first, giving the Sox a 2-1 lead. Nomar Mazara extended the lead with a two-out, two-run single to left off Indians starter Zach Plesac. Left fielder Eloy Jimenez, who scored on the hit, left before the bottom of the inning with right foot soreness and will be reevaluated Friday.
It fell apart for the Sox in the bottom of the inning.
The Indians loaded the bases with no outs. Jimmy Cordero got Delino DeShields to hit a grounder to Moncada, who threw home for a forceout. Francisco Lindor then popped out to shallow left. None of the runners advanced.
Carlos Rodon, who was reinstated off the injured list Thursday, entered, and Cesar Hernandez hit a bloop single just out of the reach of second baseman Yolmer Sanchez. Two runs scored.
Ramirez followed with his two-run double to left-center, giving the Indians a 5-4 lead.
Pitching dominated the early portion of the game.
Sox starter Dallas Keuchel allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings in his second start since returning from the injured list. Keuchel lowered his ERA to 1.99, second in the AL.
Plesac, who is from Crown Point, Ind., allowed four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in 6? innings. He surrendered a solo homer to Sanchez in the third, which gave the Sox a 1-0 lead.
The Indians tied the game when Hernandez drove in Roberto Perez on a ground-rule double to right in the third.
The Sox close the regular season with three games against the Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field starting Friday. The Twins finish with three home games against the Cincinnati Reds. The Sox hold the tiebreaker over the Twins.
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