CHICAGO — The Cleveland Indians got an encouraging start from rookie T.J. House. It still wasn’t enough to avoid the sweep.
Moises Sierra drove in the winning run with a single in the ninth inning, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Indians 3-2 Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Hector Noesi and House each delivered dominant starts. The Indians’ Jason Giambi hit his 440th homer, but the Tribe dropped their fourth straight.
They’ll have time to regroup with an off day today after playing 16 straight days.
“Yeah, it’ll be good for us,” manager Terry Francona said. “Everybody’s dragging a little bit, and we need to go home and take the day off, use it to our advantage and then come out and get after it.”
House did his part in his second major league start. He gave up just one run and five hits in 6⅓ innings and struck out eight while walking one.
“Everything was working pretty much,” he said. “I was able to throw all my pitches in the zone, expand when I needed to.”
House left with a 1-0 lead after giving up back-to-back singles to Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez, who was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double, but didn’t get enough support to pick up his first win. The Indians managed just five runs in the series.
Cleveland had just scored a run in the top of the ninth off Ronald Belisario (3-3) to tie it at 2 when the White Sox answered in the bottom half against Bryan Shaw (1-1).
Third baseman Mike Aviles bounced the throw to first on Tyler Flowers’ leadoff grounder. Pinch runner Leury Garcia stole second and moved up on a fly by Marcus Semien before Sierra lined a 3-2 pitch to right for the winning single, teammates mobbing him around first base.
“I’ve done that in the minor leagues before,” Sierra said. “But never in the major leagues and I’m very happy and very thankful for that.”
It all happened after a botched throw on a routine play.
“Routine ground ball, play that’s gotta be made, and I didn’t make it,” Aviles said.
The White Sox took a 2-1 lead in the eighth when Dunn drove in Gordon Beckham with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly against Cody Allen, but Belisario couldn’t hold it in the ninth.
Michael Brantley drove a leadoff single off the pitcher’s right hip, and the problems just mounted from there.
The Indians caught a break when Dunn overthrew second after fielding Jason Kipnis’ grounder to first. With two out, Belisario intentionally walked Jason Giambi before Brantley scored on Yan Gomes’ single, barely sliding in ahead of a strike from Sierra in right to tie it at 2.
The blown save was the third in six chances for Belisario.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead on Giambi’s solo homer off Noesi in the second. But Chicago tied it in the seventh when Dunn singled leading off against House and scored on a two-out base hit by Semien against Scott Atchison.
Noesi, meanwhile, dominated over 7⅓ innings but still is seeking his first win in more than two years.
He gave up one run and five hits while striking out five without a walk. But the winless streak continued.
The right-hander is 0-4 in six starts and 12 appearances this season with Seattle, Texas and Chicago and 0-14 in his last 40 games. His most recent win?
That was when he beat Minnesota while with Seattle on May 6, 2012.
“He’s really transitioned well from going as the long guy in the bullpen to being a starter,” manager Robin Ventura said. “I think he’s gotten a better feel for some different pitches just because now he’s going through the lineup a couple times and he’s able to get a feel for it instead of being in there for an inning or an inning and a half.”
- Francona said RHP Zach McAllister (lower back strain) will throw Friday on the field at Progressive Field, possibly in a simulated-game setting. McAllister was placed on the 15-day disabled list last Thursday and threw a 50-pitch bullpen session Monday.
- Francona said INF Nick Swisher (left knee) was examined and “structurally, he’s pretty good” and had injections in both knees. “I think that the initial view is that it won’t be an extended DL,” Francona said.
- With Kipnis activated from the 15-day disabled list, INF Justin Sellers was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
WHO: Cleveland vs. Colorado
WHEN: Friday, 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Progressive Field
PITCHERS: Kluber (5-3, 3.10 ERA) vs. Nicasio (5-2, 3.61)
TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM