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Tribe defense shows little glove in loss

Three costly errors and a defensive miscue lead to 3 White Sox runs
MLB.com @MLBastian

CHICAGO -- Still down on his left knee, Carlos Santana opened his empty glove and stared for a moment in disbelief. The Indians first baseman then looked at his right shoe and back again at his glove. Not only was there no baseball, but the one Santana thought he had corralled was bouncing into center field.

That summed up how things went for Cleveland in a 6-2 loss to the White Sox on Sunday afternoon. After strong pitching and stellar defense helped the Tribe win the first two games of the series, the Indians made three errors and helped Chicago to a win in the finale.

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CHICAGO -- Still down on his left knee, Carlos Santana opened his empty glove and stared for a moment in disbelief. The Indians first baseman then looked at his right shoe and back again at his glove. Not only was there no baseball, but the one Santana thought he had corralled was bouncing into center field.

That summed up how things went for Cleveland in a 6-2 loss to the White Sox on Sunday afternoon. After strong pitching and stellar defense helped the Tribe win the first two games of the series, the Indians made three errors and helped Chicago to a win in the finale.

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"That's the flip side," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It makes it hard to win when you play like that. We didn't finish some plays. We kicked around the ball a little bit. It makes it a lot harder to win."

All three errors committed by the Indians paved the way for runs.

The ball Santana booted -- in a very literal sense -- in the eighth inning was hardly the most costly. It came on a sharp grounder off the bat of Jose Abreu, and the baseball had some spin on it. Santana shifted to a knee and prepared to field the ball, but it ducked under the lip of his glove, bounced off his right cleat and shot back up the middle for a fluky error.

Video: CLE@CWS: May scores on a fielding error

Jacob May scored from second on the play to push Cleveland's deficit to five runs.

"I saw it," Santana said. "The ball was just moving a lot, and it went off my foot."

The White Sox took advantage of another error in the sixth inning, when Michael Martinez -- filling in for second baseman Jason Kipnis -- botched a catch while covering first base on a sacrifice bunt from May. Three batters later, Melky Cabrera singled to left to score Omar Narvaez, who moved to second on the earlier misplay by Martinez.

For a moment, it looked like left fielder Brandon Guyer had Narvaez caught at the plate. The throw arrived in plenty of time, but Indians catcher Roberto Perez was unable to hold on to the ball as he went for the tag. That did not go down as an error in the book, but it was an uncharacteristic missed chance by the catcher.

Those miscues followed an ugly blunder within Danny Salazar's 35-pitch, three-run first inning.

Salazar was laboring with his command out of the chute, but his defense did him no favors in the opening frame. With one out and a runner on first, Abreu shot a pitch the other way into right field. Abraham Almonte tried to catch the ball on the hop, but the right fielder missed and the baseball skipped to the warning track. As Almonte made the 21-step run to retrieve the ball, Abreu reached third and Tyler Saladino scored from first.

Video: CLE@CWS: Abreu singles to right and plates Saladino

"I try to do the best I can out there," Salazar said, "[to not be] thinking about that, and not [be] getting mad because of that. They, all the time, every time I pitch, make amazing plays out there for me."

Sunday was an exception, and it cost Cleveland.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Cleveland Indians