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Clevinger strikes out 11 as Indians gain series split with White Sox

Jose Abreu homered in the first.

And that was all for the White Sox’ offense in their 5-2 loss to the Indians on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Jose Ramirez’s two-run homer against Chris Volstad broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning, and right-hander Mike Clevinger (5-2) struck out 11 and held the Sox to one earned run in seven innings as the Indians (36-31) gained a split in their four-game series with the Sox (24-43).

Abreu’s homer, the 135th of his career, tied him with fellow Cuban Minnie Minoso for 12th on the Sox’ all-time list. He passed Jim Thome, who slugged 134 with the Sox.

Carlos Rodon is greeted by teammates after pitching his final inning against the Cleveland Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

After Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor led off the game with a home run against Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon, Abreu answered with a two-run, opposite-field shot. Abreu (2-for-4) collected his 39th and 40th RBI with the homer, his 11th, to erase the 1-0 deficit.

Rodon hit a batter and walked three in the third, including a free pass to Yan Gomes with the bases loaded that forced in the Indians’ second run. Rodon’s high pitch count (100, 59 for strikes) prevented him from pitching past the fifth inning for the second time in as many starts.

“Need to be more consistent,’’ Rodon said. “Falling behind, putting myself in bad situations. Gotta go deeper in the game for the team. Not my best.’’

Rodon (3.60 ERA) allowed two hits, walked three and hit two batters. He struck out four.

Ramirez’s homer against Volstad, with first base open and two outs, snapped the Sox bullpen’s scoreless-innings streak at 25„ innings. It was the longest streak by Sox relievers since the 1991 team’s streak of 31„ innings.

“If you think any of us wanted a pitch right down the middle, no, that was not the intent,’’ manager Rick Renteria said when asked if he considered walking the switch-hitting Ramirez with the right-handed-hitting Edwin Encarnacion on deck. “He had him with two strikes; obviously we don’t want to throw anything near the plate.’’

The Indians scored a fifth run on Juan Minaya’s drop covering first on a grounder to Abreu.