CHICAGO (AP) — Brandon Guyer dreamed of coming through in a big spot and driving in the winning run. He just never envisioned a scenario quite like what played out Saturday night.
The pinch-hitter was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning for the go-ahead run and the Cleveland Indians won their ninth straight game, beating the Chicago White Sox, 5-4.
“That’s not how I want to do it,” Guyer said. “But at the end of the day, I helped our team win the game, so I’ll take it.”
Indians starter Corey Kluber struck out 12. The AL Central leaders sent the White Sox to their 14th loss in 15 games.
Kluber allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He has had double-digit strikeouts in eight of his last nine starts.
It was 4-all when Aaron Bummer (0-1) walked Carlos Santana with two outs in the ninth, and Austin Jackson singled. Gregory Infante relieved and hit Yan Gomes with a pitch, then plunked Guyer in the shoulder to force in a run.
“That’s not kind of the way you want to write it up,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.
Andrew Miller (4-3) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. Cody Allen got three outs for his 19th save.
Miller worked out of jams in the seventh and eighth, stranding a total of five runners.
“I don’t think people quite maybe comprehend how much he competes,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Miller. “You look at the stuff and it’s obvious. But the competitor in him . he throws his best stuff when the game’s on the line.”
Edwin Encarnacion hit an RBI single during a three-run third that made it 4-0.
Jose Abreu hit his 19th homer, a three-run drive, in the bottom half.
The White Sox tied it at 4 in the sixth on a bloop double by Tim Anderson.
That set the stage for Guyer.
“It’s hard because you want to go out there and check on him,” Francona said, “but you’re so happy the run scored.”
Chicago prized prospect Yoan Moncada hasn’t hit his stride yet at the plate, but made two excellent defensive plays at second base on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning.
First, Moncada ranged between the second base bag to field a grounder by Erik Gonzalez. Then, with all his momentum moving in the opposite direction, fired a strike to first base for the out.
The second play was equally impressive. Bradley Zimmer dropped a seemingly perfect drag bunt that just got past the pitcher, but Moncada raced in, fielded the ball and threw it to first base from his glove to just nab Zimmer.
“That (first one) is probably one of the best catches and quickest releases that you’ve ever seen,” Renteria said. “It was on the shortstop side. That was a little (Robinson) Cano-ish.”
Moncada on the second play: “I made a play like that in my first year with Boston. It was Class A, but that was the only time before that I made it.”
The Indians claimed RHP Diego Moreno off waivers from Tampa Bay to add bullpen depth to the organization. To make room on the 40-man roster, LHP Boone Logan was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL. Moreno then was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
Indians: INF Jason Kipnis was supposed to begin a rehab assignment Saturday night with Triple-A Columbus, but the game at Norfolk was rained out.
White Sox: INF/OF Leury Garcia (sprained finger left hand) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday night, going 0 for 4 and playing center field. He was placed on the 10-day DL on June 19 and the injury healed more slowly than expected.
Indians RHP Josh Tomlin (7-9, 5.59 ERA) allowed a total of 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings in two starts against Chicago earlier this season and will look to turn things around in the series finale. White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (1-4, 6.29) has a 4-1 record with a 2.45 ERA against Cleveland in his career.
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