CHICAGO -- Brett Lawrie launched a full-count, fifth-inning fastball from Mike Clevinger deep into the left-field stands for a three-run homer to give the White Sox control in a 7-6 victory over the Indians on Monday during the opener of a doubleheader between the top two teams in the American
CHICAGO -- Brett Lawrie launched a full-count, fifth-inning fastball from Mike Clevinger deep into the left-field stands for a three-run homer to give the White Sox control in a 7-6 victory over the Indians on Monday during the opener of a doubleheader between the top two teams in the American League Central. Lawrie connected with Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera on base and two outs, as the designated hitter reached base five times in the contest.
"I saw a bunch of pitches," said Lawrie, who walked three times and stole a base. "I took a good amount of sliders and curveballs, and that allowed me, when I got to 3-2, to get a fastball, and I didn't miss it."
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The White Sox added an unearned run in the seventh via two errors and three walks, which proved to be important, as Cleveland did not disappear quietly. Trailing by four runs in the eighth, Zach Duke walked Carlos Santana and allowed Jason Kipnis' double to open the frame. Mike Napoli's groundout against Matt Albers scored a run, and Jose Ramirez punctuated a 10-pitch at-bat with a long two-run homer to right. The Indians were not able to climb all the way back against Nate Jones and David Robertson over the final four outs.
Mat Latos earned the victory, improving to 6-1 on the season. Latos gave up three runs on five hits over six innings, including home runs from Napoli and Marlon Byrd, while striking out four and walking one. Clevinger got the loss in his second big league start, yielding six runs on seven hits in five innings to go with his four strikeouts and three walks.
"I felt like, especially with the offense scoring those runs, I was killing the momentum," Clevinger said. "This one was on me. Especially when they put it on the board, I need to bear down and make sure I get that zero put up."
"A little bit of everything," Latos said of his day. "Fastball, slider, two-seamer and changeup, threw a couple of really good changeups against some key guys. Offense was there. Defense was there. Can't say much more than that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Frazier does it all: Frazier homered in the first, taking the AL lead at 14, after robbing Francisco Lindor with a barehanded play in the top of the frame. Since he decided to put in a little extra work studying pitchers before Sunday's game, Frazier is 4-for-6 and has been on base seven times.
Hitless no more: Napoli entered Monday hitless in his past 19 at-bats. At one point in Cleveland's last series against the Red Sox, he struck out in eight consecutive plate appearances. He flipped the script with his second-inning home run to left field. Napoli also walked in the fourth and drove in another run on a groundout in the eighth.
Nasty No. 9:Austin Jackson came into the opener of Monday's doubleheader hitting .222 but provided a boost offensively from the bottom of the order. Jackson doubled and scored in the third, singled home a run in the fourth, singled again in the sixth and walked with the bases loaded to force home a run in the seventh.
Sloppy seventh: Already down three runs, the Indians let the White Sox score without a hit in the seventh. Rajai Davis dropped a fly ball in center field, Kipnis booted a ground ball and Dan Otero walked two batters before Austin Adams walked Jackson to score the run. Adams got Adam Eaton to ground out to limit what could have been a much worse inning. The Indians also got help when Michael Martinez caught a fly ball in right field and nailed Cabrera trying to tag at the plate for a double play, but the run that scored in the inning ended up costing the Indians.
"That was a really good play," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That was a heck of a throw, and it just kind of turned a terrible situation into two out, first and second."
"I thought he swung it great. There was something on it, I think he was hitting the ball hard. It doesn't always work, but it's something, I think he's better for it right now, I think he's swinging better. He's more aggressive, he's not tentative and he's letting it go."-- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on Jose Abreu's 1-for-5 response after getting an off-day Sunday
WINNING IN THE DIVISION
The White Sox improved to 9-3 against the AL Central, outscoring their opposition, 50-33.
Indians: After Monday's doubleheader, right-hander Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians on Tuesday against the White Sox at 8:10 p.m. ET. Tomlin is 6-0 this season with a 3.56 ERA and has not lost a game since Sept. 15, 2015, against the Royals.
White Sox:Chris Sale (9-0, 1.58 ERA) goes for his 10th straight victory to open the season and his 11th straight dating back to Oct. 2, 2015. That current streak of 10 stands as the seventh-longest in White Sox history (Elias Sports Bureau/STATS). Sale has 62 strikeouts and a .163 opponents' average over his first nine starts this season.
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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Indians on Monday.