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Early runs hold as White Sox stave off Tribe

June 10, 2017

CLEVELAND -- Left-hander David Holmberg held the Indians' lineup at bay and the White Sox overcame a series of outs on the basepaths, picking up a 5-3 victory on Saturday night at Progressive Field. Closer Player Page for David Robertson saw to it that the slim lead held with a

CLEVELAND -- Left-hander David Holmberg held the Indians' lineup at bay and the White Sox overcame a series of outs on the basepaths, picking up a 5-3 victory on Saturday night at Progressive Field. Closer Player Page for David Robertson saw to it that the slim lead held with a two-inning save.
Holmberg, who is filling in for James Shields in Chicago's rotation, limited Cleveland to two runs on three hits over five innings en route to the win for the White Sox. It marked his first big league victory since July 30, 2015, and came eight years and one day from the time the White Sox took him in the second round of the 2009 Draft. The lefty's lone setback came in the fourth inning, when Tribe slugger Edwin Encarnacion belted a two-run homer -- his second in as many nights and No. 12 on the year.
"It is kind of cool. Just thinking about that, it's been a long time since I got drafted by this organization," Holmberg said. "I'm happy to be here, and I'm happy to win the ballgame."

Carlos Santana added a solo shot off White Sox reliever Dan Jennings in the sixth.
"We've never faced him," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Holmberg. "I think there's some deception. There's a good changeup. I think he also knows how to pitch for a younger guy. I think he has a good feel to pitch. We didn't get much going besides the home runs. That was kind of our offense."

It was an odd night for the White Sox offense, which piled up 14 hits, but also ran into five outs on the basepaths. Indians left fielder Michael Brantley delivered a pair of outfield assists, throwing out Melky Cabrera at the plate in the second and nabbing Jose Abreu trying to stretch a single into a double in the fifth. In all, Chicago ran into three outs at third, one at home and one at second.

The White Sox did not hit Tribe starter Josh Tomlin hard, but they hit the right-hander a lot, connecting for nine hits in his 2 2/3 innings. That flurry included seven singles -- three straight to open Chicago's three-run first inning. Matt Davidson (two-run single), Abreu (RBI single) and Cabrera (RBI single) each came through against Tomlin.
"It just came down to me not doing my job early on in the game," Tomlin said. "It put us in a hole. We weren't able to dig out of it. As a group, there was a lot of fight in the dugout. There was a lot of intensity. The one person who didn't do their job today was me."
Davidson delivers: Already up 1-0, the White Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the first and looked to add on. But Todd Frazier chopped into a 5-2 fielder's choice, providing Cleveland hope that it could escape further damage in the inning. Davidson then sent a pitch from Tomlin into left for a single that brought both Abreu and Avisail Garcia home, giving Chicago a quick 3-0 advantage.

Brantley's rare error: Entering Saturday, Brantley had committed just two errors in 3,563 2/3 innings in left field, dating back to 2013. In the second, a fly ball off the bat of Leury Garcia clanked off Brantley's glove as he closed in on the side wall down the line. Garcia made it all the way to third on the error (Brantley's first of the year), then crossed the plate on Cabrera's bloop single to right two batters later.

"That would've been a great play," Tomlin said. "I talked to him on the bench about it. He was trying to take blame for it. He was playing the guy kind of a pull-gap a little bit. He made an unbelievable play on the ball. He got there. He's close to the wall right there, tried to make a good play right there. Good players still make mistakes." More >

"His throwing, the accuracy, the carry. I don't know if you would term it a 'gun,' like you see some guys. Like Santana, that to me is a gun. But Brant is so consistent and the ball has so much good carry to it. And he's so accurate, that very few times you see him throw the ball and an infielder gets handcuffed. He just has such a nice feel for it." -- Francona, on Brantley's outfield assists

"They came to me before the game and said to be ready for multiples. I said, 'OK, perfect.' I came in after the first inning and they were like, 'Can you go again?' And I was like, 'Yeah, absolutely.' I went out there and finished the job." --Robertson, on his first two-inning save with the White Sox

Encarnacion's home run in the fourth had an exit velocity of 111 mph, marking his hardest-hit homer of the season. The Indians' designated hitter had a .199 average on May 20. In 16 games since, Encarnacion has turned in a .362/.403/.672 slash line.
This marked the first time in Brantley's career that he had two outfield assists in one game. It was the first two-assist game for an Indians outfielder since June 9, 2016 (Rajai Davis).
Holmberg earned the championship belt for his efforts on Saturday, a belt awarded to the player of the game after a White Sox victory. But it was Mike Pelfrey who got the postgame beer shower as Saturday's contest gave him 10 years of big league service.
"That's hard to do. You don't see many guys get there. I'm proud of him," Robertson said. "That's awesome."
White Sox:Jose Quintana (2-7, 5.30 ERA) makes his 13th start of the season, seventh on the road and second against Cleveland at 12:10 p.m. CT on Sunday. Quintana is 0-3 with a 6.68 ERA over his last six starts, allowing 24 runs over 32 1/3 innings.
Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (5-3, 3.36 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Tribe in a 1:10 p.m. ET divisional clash with the White Sox on Sunday at Progressive Field. Carrasco has a 0.60 ERA (one earned run in 15 innings) in two starts against Chicago this season.
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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.