CLEVELAND — Carlos Rodon allowed one run while pitching into the eighth inning and the visiting White Sox defeated the sloppy Cleveland Indians 4-3 on Saturday night.
Pitching on 10 days rest, Rodon (8-6) went 7 2/3 innings and beat Cleveland for the third time this season. Micah Johnson’s fifth-inning single broke a 1-all tie, sending the Indians to a costly loss as they attempt to remain in the race for the second AL wild card.
A wild pitch by Carlos Carrasco (13-11) and two misplays by rookie shortstop Francisco Lindor hurt Cleveland, which entered play trailing Houston by four games in the wild-card chase.
The game ended when Abraham Almonte was picked off first base by closer David Robertson, who had given up a two-run homer to Chris Johnson in the ninth.
“It was a big sigh of relief,” Robertson said. “Especially because it ended the game and I got to get out of that struggle I was in.”
“Obviously, that’s tough to take,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Abe looked to me like he wanted to run and we really wanted to let Kip hit. That’s unfortunate. You’d love to let Kip hit there.”
The Indians (73-74), who also trail the Angels and Twins in the wild-card standings, have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games.
Johnson’s homer cut the lead to 4-3 with one out in the ninth. After Almonte singled, Jerry Sands flied out. Robertson picked off Almonte with Jason Kipnis batting to secure his 30th save.
Rodon’s ERA after his first start in August was 5.00. With seven consecutive starts of six or more innings since then, he has lowered his ERA to 3.78. The rookie left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA in four starts and a relief appearance against Cleveland this season.
Rodon is 4-2 with a 1.66 ERA over his last seven starts, the lowest in the American League.Lindor’s throwing error on a potential double-play ball led to Chicago’s first run in the fourth. Carrasco threw a wild pitch in the fifth before Lindor dropped a throw on what could have been another double play, also allowing a run to score.
Carrasco retired his first nine hitters before Adam Eaton led off the fourth with a single. Jose Abreu bounced a grounder to Lindor, whose throw sailed past Kipnis at second base and into right field. Eaton went to third and scored on Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice fly for an unearned run.
Yan Gomes’ sacrifice fly tied the game in the bottom half before the Sox (70-77) went ahead again. Rob Brantly drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and went to second on Avisail Garcia’s single. Mike Olt struck out, but a wild pitch to Johnson allowed both runners to move up.
Johnson took advantage of a drawn-in infield by blooping a single out of Lindor’s reach into shallow left for a 2-1 lead. Eaton hit a bouncer to Carrasco, who threw to second for a force play. Lindor dropped the ball attempting to take it out of his glove, and Garcia scored for a two-run lead.
Carrasco, who fell to 3-8 in his career and 1-4 this season against the Sox, allowed three runs in five-plus innings.
White Sox: LHP John Danks, the Sox’ Sunday starter, is 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 13 road starts. He’s 5-13 in 25 career starts against Cleveland.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin pitched a complete game against Kansas City on Tuesday, but took the loss in a 2-0 defeat. He’s holding opponents to a .172 batting average in seven starts.