Cleveland banged out five doubles in the first three innings on the way to a 10-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field.
Facing White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey for the second time in a little more than three weeks, Cleveland's offense unloaded for 10 runs (seven earned), including five doubles and a Jay Bruce two-run home run. Pelfrey had previously allowed seven runs in four innings in a Sept. 7 emergency start against Cleveland at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
The Indians loaded the bases with two out in the first inning Friday, but Pelfrey got Carlos Santana to pop out to left field to end the threat.
However, Austin Jackson broke through with an RBI single in the second inning that scored Jason Kipnis before Jose Ramirez delivered a two-run double that made the score 3-0. Ramirez finished with three hits including a pair of doubles and a walk in four plate appearances before he was lifted in the sixth inning in favor of Giovanny Urshela.
The All-Star infielder collected his major league-leading 54th double in the first inning, moving out of a tie with Grady Sizemore (53 in 2006) for third place on the Indians' single-season doubles list.
Ramirez's second-inning double raised his league-leading extra-base hit total to 90. He became the fourth player in franchise history to reach 90 extra-base hits, joining Hal Trotsky in 1936, Albert Belle in 1995 and Grady Sizemore in 2006.
Kipnis and Yandy Diaz delivered back-to-back doubles in the third, and Edwin Encarnacion drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double later that same inning.
Meanwhile, Bauer was in control from the beginning, holding Chicago's offense hitless until Yolmer Sanchez broke up his modest no-hit bid with a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth. Bauer logged six innings, allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts in his final start of the regular season.
Joe Smith, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw and Andrew Miller combined to shut down the White Sox the rest of the way, allowing just one hit in three combined innings of relief.
Bruce's homer was his second in as many nights. The two-run blast into the bleachers in left center capped the Cleveland's six-run second. It was Bruce's seventh home run since joining the Indians in August.
What it means
The Indians' lead over Houston remains at one game with two remaining in the chase for home field advantage in the American League playoffs. The Tribe's magic number to clinch AL home field is 1. Cleveland trails the Los Angeles Dodgers by 1.5 games for baseball's best overall record.
Bauer threw 80 pitches, 49 (61 percent) for strikes. Pelfrey threw 85 pitches, 47 (55 percent) for strikes.
Bauer finished four strikeouts shy of 200 for the season, which would have made him the third Indians pitcher to accomplish the feat this year. The Tribe missed its chance to become the first team since the 2013 Tigers to have three pitchers reach the 200-strikeout mark.
Thanks for coming
The Indians and White Sox drew 26,983 to Progressive Field for Friday night's game. First pitch was at 7:11 p.m. with a temperature of 63 degrees.
The series continues Saturday against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.27) will face Carson Fulmer (2-1, 4.42) at 7:10 p.m. SportsTime Ohio, WTAM and WMMS will carry the game.
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