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Indians rough up Chris Sale — again

By RYAN LEWIS • Updated Aug 24, 2017 at 11:33 PM

 

CLEVELAND — If there are truths in baseball, they are that it's unpredictable, weird and at times, poetic.

The last two games at Progressive Field were two more prime examples.

One night after having nearly zero run support for their own ace, the Indians on Thursday night roughed up Chris Sale, the American league Cy Young favorite, to rout the Boston Red Sox, 13-6.

So predictably unpredictable. As former Indians outfielder Michael Bourn loved to say, "That's baseball."

The Indians (70-56) bludgeoned Sale — the lone pitcher likely ahead of Corey Kluber in the Cy Young race — for seven runs in three innings. Sale has given up seven runs in two outings this season, and both have come against the Indians this month.

It equaled the shortest start of Sale's career. And much of the damage came from the bottom third of the Indians order. Yandy Diaz, Roberto Perez and Giovanny Urshela combined to record nine hits and drive in eight runs.

Diaz narrowly missed hitting for the cycle but settled for a four-hit, two-RBI night that included two doubles and a triple. In his final at-bat, needing a home run, he sent a high fly ball to right field that landed on the warning track.

Perez went 3 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Urshela finished 2 for 5 with four RBIs, including a two-run single in the third to put the Indians up 7-1 against Sale.

Sale was running away with the AL Cy Young through May until Kluber returned from the disabled list on June 1. He has since responded with a borderline historic stretch to bring at least a degree of doubt in the race. On Thursday night, his teammates helped him in that chase.

With Sale quickly out of the game, Jay Bruce in the sixth inning belted a solo home run, his 33rd of the season and fourth with the Indians. Francisco Lindor later followed with a solo home run down the right-field line, extending his career high for home runs in a single season to 22.

That was enough for Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, who had an up-and-down outing but had plenty of run support. He was tagged for four earned runs on seven hits in 51/3 innings He also struck out eight hitters.

The Indians and Red Sox (73-54) were thought to be two evenly matched teams at the top of the American League contenders list. This four-game series, which was split 2-2, did little to change that perception before what could be a future matchup in October.

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(c)2017 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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