Aaron Civale recorded a career-high nine strikeouts and Francisco Lindor belted a two-run homer to lift the host Cleveland Indians to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday in the opener of a doubleheader.
Bradley Zimmer joined Lindor in going deep and driving in a pair of runs for the Indians, who lost 11 of 19 meetings with Chicago last season.
Tim Anderson homered in the third inning to snap an 0-for-13 slump and went 3-for-5 with three runs for the White Sox, who saw manager Rick Renteria return to the dugout. Renteria’s status wasn’t certain after general manager Rick Hahn announced prior to Monday’s postponed game that the manager woke up with a slight cough and nasal congestion.
Civale (1-0) allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings while eclipsing his previous strikeout record of seven, which was set in a hard-luck 1-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Aug. 5, 2019. He walked one.
Cleveland’s Nick Wittgren escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth inning. Brad Hand answered Yasmani Grandal’s two-out RBI single in the ninth by striking out Edwin Encarnacion to secure his second save of the season.
Cleveland got the early jump as Cesar Hernandez singled to lead off the first inning before Lindor deposited an 0-1 fastball from Dylan Cease (0-1) over the wall in right field with one out. The homer was Lindor’s first of the season.
Zimmer led off the second by sending a 2-1 changeup from Cease over the wall in right field for his first homer since May 4, 2018, versus the New York Yankees.
Anderson answered with two outs in the third by depositing Civale’s 1-1 slider over the wall in right field for his first homer.
Zimmer re-established the Indians’ three-run bulge in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single off Jace Fry, who had just entered the game in place of Cease.
Jose Abreu’s RBI groundout in the fifth trimmed Cleveland’s lead to 4-2, but Civale limited the damage by striking out Grandal to end the inning.
Cease gave up four runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out one and didn’t issue a walk.
Right-hander Adam Plutko (7-5, 4.86 ERA in 2019) will look to complete the sweep for the Indians when he opposes left-hander Carlos Rodon (3-2, 5.19 last season) in Tuesday’s second game.
-Field Level Media