CLEVELAND, Ohio – There were shades of 10-cent beer at Progressive Field on Thursday as the Cleveland Indians swept the Chicago White Sox with a 5-4 victory.
No, the cardboard fans in the stands didn’t go wild like the spectators at the old municipal stadium did on June 4, 1974. There were no streakers, beer showers or police escorts needed. The connection between Thursday’s game and the Indians’ infamous forfeit to the Texas Rangers in the disco era came in the seventh inning when Cleveland got three straight pinch strokes to help beat Chicago.
Josh Naylor, Tyler Naquin and Mike Freeman took the honors against Chicago right-hander Jimmy Cordero. Naylor was eventually erased on a defenseman’s choice pitch by Delino DeShields, but both Naquin and Freeman scored on a two-run single from Cesar Hernandez. José Ramírez would later deliver the knockout blow with a two-point brace to complete the Cleveland rally.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Indians sent three straight hitters to home plate and all three were hit safely was in the ninth inning of that ill-fated 1974 night. umpiring, team manager Nestor Chylak called the match up due to unruly behavior from beer-fueled fans, Indians received brushstrokes from Ed Crosby, Rusty Torres and Alan Ashby.
This time it was the White Sox who needed it.
Acting manager Sandy Alomar Jr. said that upon entering the seventh, the Indian coaches had a plan and all the pieces seemed to fall into place.
“We were really lucky these three guys got some hits,” Alomar said. “It set up the big round. The guys kept fighting, hitting the balls the other way around. It was a fun round to watch.
Starting pitcher Zach Plesac said he’s never seen anything like it in a game before.
“The way we did it to win the game was crazy, man,” Plesac said. “It’s just a really, really good feeling to be floating in this clubhouse right now. “
Plesac said comeback wins like Thursday’s go a long way in boosting a club’s confidence, especially after a long losing streak like the one the Indians broke last week in Detroit.
“It just shows us that we’re never out of a game,” Plesac said. “We just did such a good job after going through this losing streak to really get back on track and really tighten up where we needed it. Now everything is playing the way we are supposed to play. step on the accelerator, that’s for sure.
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