The Indians scored four runs in the second inning Tuesday night and Clevinger took it from there, speeding away from the White Sox on the way to a 6-3 win at Progressive Field.
Clevinger (6-2, 3.00) allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings to beat the White Sox for the third time this season. He's posted a 1.27 with 21 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings against Chicago.
The Indians did their early scoring against left-hander Carlos Rodon and their late scoring against Bruce Rondon.
Rodon (0-2, 4.41), in his second start against the Tribe, lost the strike zone in the second. He started the inning by walking Edwin Encarnacion and hit Brandon Guyer with a pitch. Yonder Alonso, with one hit in his previous eight at-bats against Rodon, singled to right to tie the score at 1-1.
Yan Gomes followed Alonso's single with a walk to load the bases. Rodon almost escaped with minimal damage by retiring Jason Kipnis and Rajai Davis on pop ups. He did throw a run-scoring wild pitch with Davis at the plate to score Guyer for a 2-1 lead.
Francisco Lindor, however, did not let Rodon slip out the back door. He blooped a two-run single into center field for a 4-1 lead. Lindor came into the game hitting .393 (11-for-28) against the White Sox.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first on a leadoff double by Yoan Moncada and a single by Jose Abreu.
Clevinger, after allowing a run on two hits in the first, held the White Sox to three hits and two walks over the next 6 2/3 innings. In the eighth, he emptied his tank with two strikeouts and two walks before Neil Ramirez relieved to get the final out of the inning.
When Clevinger takes the mound, he is fully invested. In 10 of his last 12 starts, he has thrown 104 or more pitches, including 114 Tuesday. He reached double digits in strikeouts for the third time this year and third time in his career.
The Indians made it 6-1 with two runs in the seventh as Michael Brantley doubled home Rajai Davis. Encarnacion delivered Brantley with a single.
Guyer and Davis each stole a base and scored Tuesday. The Indians have now stolen 23 straight bases without being caught.
Things grew tense in the ninth as Zach McAllister gave up a two-run double to Moncada. Still, he should have been out of the inning if not for Erik Gonzalez's two-out error on Yolmer Sanchez's routine ground to second base.
Cody Allen came into the game and retired Abreu on a fly ball to right for his 15th save. He is two shy of tying Bob Wickman for the franchise lead with 139.
What it means
The Indians are 7-2 against the White Sox and 21-13 in the AL Central.
Rodon threw 98 pitches, 62 (63 percent) for strikes. Clevinger threw 114 pitches, 77 (68 percent) for strikes.
Not so fast, big man
Abreu, Chicago's first baseman, sent a liner down the left field line in the third inning that was originally ruled a home run. Crew chief Ted Barrett asked for a review of the play and it took 44 second to turn the homer into a long strike.
Clevinger ended the at-bat by striking out Abreu.
Thanks for coming
The White Sox and Indians drew 20,394 fans to Progressive Field on Tuesday night. First pitch was at 7:10 p.m. with a temperature of 76 degrees.
The Indians and White Sox conclude this three-game series at 1:10 p.m. Wednesday with Corey Kluber (10-3, 2.24) facing right-hander Reynadlo Lopez (2-4, 3.26). SportsTime Ohio and WLKR-FM 95.3 will carry the game.
Kluber will be making his second start against the White Sox this season. He beat them on May 30 with six scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts. Kluber is coming off just his second loss of the season, a 6-3 decision to the Twins.
Lopez is coming off a no decision against the Tigers. He's 0-2 against the Tribe in three starts. He lost to Kluber and the Indians on May 30, allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.