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Indians spoil White Sox rookie’s historic night in 12-11 win

Cleveland back above .500 mark at 51-50
Cleveland Indians closing pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) celebrates with first baseman Yu Chang...
Cleveland Indians closing pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) celebrates with first baseman Yu Chang after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 12-11 in a baseball game Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)(Paul Beaty | AP)
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 11:33 PM EDT
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CHICAGO -- — White Sox rookie Seby Zavala hit the first three home runs of his career, including a grand slam, but the Cleveland Indians rallied to beat Chicago 12-11 on Saturday night.

Austin Hedges, Owen Miller and Amed Rosario homered to help Cleveland overcome a five-run deficit.

Zavala became the first player in big league history to hit his first three career home runs in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The 27-year-old catcher played his 18th game in the majors — he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on July 6 to replace the injured Yasmani Grandal.

Batting ninth, Zavala hit a solo homer in the third off Triston McKenzie. Zavala connected for a grand slam off McKenize in the fourth for a 6-1 lead and a solo drive against Bryan Shaw in the seventh.

With a chance to become the 19th player to hit a record-tying four homers in a game, Zavala singled in the eighth and finished with six RBI.

Brian Goodwin and Adam Engel also homered for the White Sox, who lead the second-place Indians by eight games in the AL Central despite winning just three times in their last 10 games.

The Indians totaled nine runs in three straight innings to take the lead. Justin Garza (1-0) threw two scoreless innings. Emmanuel Clase got five outs for his 13th save.

Engel hit a two-run homer and José Abreu added an RBI single to pull the White Sox within one in the eighth.

Miller and Hedges hit back-to-back drives in the fifth to cut the White Sox lead to 6-3. It was Miller’s first career homer.

Franmil Reyes hit an RBI double to chase Dallas Keuchel in a five-run sixth. After Hedges’ single tied the game, Yu Chang hit a two-run triple off Michael Kopech for an 8-6 lead. Goodwin made a leaping attempt in right field on Chang’s hit but couldn’t hang onto the ball.

Kopech allowed five runs in an inning, the first time he has yielded more than a run in an outing this season.

Each starting pitcher allowed three home runs. McKenzie gave up six runs over four innings for Cleveland while Keuchel was tagged for five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

NEW GUY

Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth in his first appearance for the White Sox after they acquired him from the Cubs at the trade deadline Friday.

He is reunited with Tony La Russa, who was in Boston’s front office when Kimbrel pitched for the Red Sox in 2018.

“We won one together when I had a red sock on. Now let’s do it in white,” Kimbrel said he told the manager.

The White Sox added Kimbrel despite already having All-Star closer Liam Hendriks. La Russa said they will be used depending on their availability.

“The day they’re both available, we’ll be real clear if we have the lead who pitches the eighth and who pitches the ninth,” La Russa said. “It’s not going to be a quarterback controversy. It’s not going to be a closer controversy. It’s just going to be, ‘Let’s get the outs and let’s get a win and let’s keep going forward.’ "

Kimbrel, an eight-time All-Star, had a 0.49 ERA and 23 saves in 25 opportunities with the Cubs this season.

“I’m on board to do whatever I need to do to help this team win,” he said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: LF Eloy Jiménez (groin tightness) remained out of the lineup for the third straight game. The slugger is expected back by Tuesday. A pectoral tear sidelined Jiménez all season until he was reinstated from the injured list Monday. … OF Luis Robert (right hip flexor) is moving well but “a few at-bats short” in his rehab assignment, La Russa said.

UP NEXT

RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.66 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Indians in Sunday’s series finale against the White Sox, who had yet to announce a starter.

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