Avisail Garcia's three-run homer to right capped off of a five-run White Sox seventh against Cleveland reliever Bryan Shaw and gave the South Siders a 7-3 victory Saturday afternoon for their first win at U.S. Cellular Field of the 2016 season.
Thanks to a two-run homer from Mike Napoli in the sixth and a leadoff homer from Yan Gomes in the seventh, Chris Sale and the White Sox trailed by a 3-2 margin entering the seventh. Austin Jackson opened the frame with a single, and Jimmy Rollins followed with a double, before Cleveland manager Terry Francona elected to walk Jose Abreu to load the bases with nobody out.
Todd Frazier's fielder's-choice grounder to shortstop Francisco Lindor scored the game-tying run, and Melky Cabrera culminated a nine-pitch at-bat with a go-ahead single to right off of a Shaw changeup. One batter later, Garcia drilled an 0-2 pitch over the right-field wall for his first home run of the season. Garcia had two hits Saturday when he was down 0-2 in the count.
"It's just one of those things," Shaw said. "I wasn't locating real well and kind of leaving pitches middle. The balls were over the plate. I wasn't attacking like I should have, and obviously, we saw what happened."
"It's always big because we've been working hard to improve and to do it in the season," Garcia said. "I just gotta do my best to help the team win."
Sale earned the victory, allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking two. Cody Anderson gave up two runs in six innings before giving way to Shaw. The five runs allowed in two-thirds of an inning represents Shaw's worst career outing.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Power rally:Rajai Davis and Jason Kipnis struck out consecutively to begin the sixth against Sale, who was cruising along against the Tribe. Then, Lindor delivered a two-out single and Napoli followed with a two-run, game-tying home run that traveled 423 feet, according to Statcast™. It was the second shot of the year for the Indians' first baseman. Gomes followed with a leadoff shot in the seventh, depositing a Sale sinker into the White Sox bullpen in left field to temporarily give Cleveland a 3-2 edge.
"Like Nap can do, he can change the game with one swing. It was exciting," Francona said. "I know it didn't end like we wanted it to, but that's nice to see us claw back like that. Sale was starting to kick it in gear. You could tell he was starting to smell it a little bit. He had a little extra on it those last couple innings he pitched."
Anderson on his game: Anderson, who was named the No. 4 starter after a strong rookie debut last year and an impressive spring, was solid in his season debut for the Tribe. Even with three errors by the defense, Anderson limited Chicago to two runs on six hits, striking out two and walking a pair. He was in line for a win before the bullpen's meltdown.
"We didn't make all the plays, but kind of like Cody [does], he didn't get rattled," Francona said. "He kept it in check, made some pitches with men on base and gave us a chance where all of a sudden, Nap hits the two-run homer and then Gomer hits the solo, and we actually got a lead. So I think it says a lot about Cody."
Near misses: Jackson made solid contact in the cold weather against Anderson but had little to show for it. Jackson flew out deep to left in the fourth with J.B. Shuck on second and one out, following a long fly out to left to end the second with the bases loaded.
"Austin hit a few that probably would have - at least one of them would have went out," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But tough day all the way around."
Abreu on target: On a cold day that looked as if home runs would be tough to come by, Abreu turned around a first-pitch fastball from Anderson for a solo homer in the third. Abreu also singled to open the fifth.
"If they're going out today, it's a mistake and they punished it," Ventura said. "Jose's the same thing. The balls they hit were crushed, and there's not much to say about it."
QUOTABLE "He's going to be out there every time there's a game on the line. We'll keep rolling him out there, and he will get outs." -- Anderson, on Shaw
"Obviously, it didn't work, but I would've felt worse if I wouldn't have done that. I just thought it was the right thing to do. It could've very easily been, Zach [McAllister] could've come in and got them out, but in my mind, Shaw was facing the guys he was supposed to." -- Francona, on using Shaw in the seventh instead of the eighth
"Pitching in the cold is like getting punched in the face. You never really get used to it. You just handle it better." -- Sale, on working in Saturday's wintry conditions More >
GARCIA COMES FROM BEHIND Garcia hit his third career homer on a 0-2 count and first since April 8, 2014, at Colorado.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Right-hander Josh Tomlin is slated to take the mound for the Indians on Sunday, making his season debut in a 2:10 p.m. ET tilt against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Tomlin has not pitched since March 29, when he struck out 10 and walked none in six scoreless innings in his final Spring Training start. Last year, the starter went 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 starts for the Tribe.
White Sox:Jose Quintana takes the mound after earning a no-decision in his first start against the A's. That was nothing new for the southpaw, who has 53 no-decisions since the start of 2012, which is a Major League high.