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Tribe beats White Sox for 12th straight win

By COLLEEN KANE • Sep 4, 2017 at 9:16 PM

 

CHICAGO — Monday was Rymer Liriano's day at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox left fielder collected two hits and three RBIs, his first in the big leagues since 2014.

Unfortunately for the Sox, it also was the Indians' day — as it has been every day since Aug. 24.

The Indians overcame Liriano's strong outing to top the Sox 5-3 in the opener of a four-game series for their 12th straight victory. They led from the second inning on after Carlos Santana homered and Roberto Perez added an RBI double off right-hander James Shields.

Liriano twice chipped away at that lead in his third game with the Sox after they called him up Saturday. He said his Sox debut that day felt like his major league debut all over again after going nearly three years between big-league appearances.

"It's been hard for me to get back to the majors," Liriano said. "I've worked a lot on my swing in the minor leagues. It's a really good opportunity the White Sox have given me."

Liriano's first hit in a Sox uniform was a two-run homer to left-center off right-hander Trevor Bauer to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth.

He added an RBI double to right off Joe Smith in the seventh, driving in Tim Anderson for the second time. And he took a two-out walk against closer Cody Allen in the ninth.

It was Liriano's second career homer and third double. A former top-50 prospect, Liriano last played in the majors with the Padres in 2014, when he was 24 for 109 in 38 games.

The Padres traded Liriano to the Brewers after the 2015 season, and he was hit in the face with a pitch during spring training and missed the 2016 season with facial fractures, concussion symptoms and vision problems. The Sox claimed him off waivers last fall to see if he could regain his form, and he hit .256 with 17 homers at Triple-A Charlotte.

"He has battled through a lot in his career," said Sox manager Rick Renteria, who knew Liriano when both were in the Padres organization. "He had an injury (last year) that could have put him out of the game. But he has battled through it, and it was nice to have him contribute like he did today."

The Indians, who lead the American League Central by 9{ games at 81-56, outscored the Tigers 29-5 in their four-game series over the weekend. Shields at least kept it close, holding the Indians to three runs heading into the seventh, when he issued a leadoff walk.

Francisco Mejia then hit a line drive off Shields' right knee. Shields was down for several minutes while Sox staff looked at him, and he said afterward he thought from the "excruciating" pain his kneecap was broken.

But he limped off the field to an ovation and was diagnosed with a bruise on the side of his knee. X-rays were negative, and he hopes it won't keep him out.

"It's a little sore, but everything came out all right," Shields said. "I think maybe a few inches and I might have been in some trouble."

Reliever Jake Petricka allowed the inherited runner to score on Francisco Lindor's single, and Jose Ramirez homered off reliever Chris Beck.

Liriano wasn't the only Sox highlight. Adam Engel robbed Austin Jackson of a fifth-inning home run with a leaping catch above the center-field wall.

"That was a spectacular catch," Renteria said. "If that doesn't show up on highlights tonight on somebody's reel, something is wrong."

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