CHICAGO — Trevor Bauer was sailing along in another dominant start right until he got struck in the right ankle by a line drive.
Another bruising blow couldn’t derail the Cleveland Indians.
Bauer pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs to lift the Indians to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
Bauer (12-6) won his fourth straight start. He gave up one run and struck out eight before Jose Abreu’s leadoff liner hit him in the seventh.
The ball appeared headed toward the upper portion of his leg before sinking a bit and striking the ankle with his foot in the air. It ricocheted toward first baseman Yonder Alonso, who stepped on the bag for the out.
Bauer was slow to rise to his feet and walked around gingerly as manager Terry Francona and an assistant trainer came out to check on him. The Indians brought in Brad Hand, ending another dominant start. Bauer is 5-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his past eight outings.
The Indians think he just has a bruise, though he did undergo precautionary X-rays after the game.
“He got hit pretty hard, but then again just to cover everything, we’ll get an X-ray,” Francona said.
Losing Bauer for an extended time obviously would be a big blow for a team that has been banged up. The Indians are also putting slugger Edwin Encarnacion on the disabled list because of swelling in his left biceps, Francona said.
“We’ve got nothing but prayers and hopes that everyone will be back soon,” Brantley said. “But at the same time we’ve got to step up as a unit, as a team, go out there and still get our jobs done to the best of our abilities.”
The game was tied at 1 before Brantley and Ramirez hit consecutive homers against James Shields in the sixth. Brantley also singled and doubled.
Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances. He gave up a leadoff single to Yolmer Sanchez but struck out Avisail Garcia to end the game after Daniel Palka — who homered in the ninth in Friday’s 1-0 victory — flied to deep center.
Shields (4-14) allowed two earned runs and seven hits in seven innings. Yoan Moncada homered in the third, but the White Sox committed three errors.
“Yeah, it’s been a frustrating season, no doubt about it,” Shields said. “I’m just going to go out there and try and throw some quality starts and go as deep as I can in the game and give us a chance to win. Flip side, Bauer has been pitching very well this year, he’s a tough one to beat. You can’t really give up two home runs in one inning and expect to win the ballgame like that.”
Indians: Francona said the swelling in Encarnacion’s bicep is “not bad at all,” and X-rays on his right hand “came back actually really good, really clean.”
Encarnacion has struggled since being hit on the right hand by Yankees reliever Chad Green before the All-Star break. He has often been swinging with one hand, putting more stress on his upper arms.
** RHP Corey Kluber left the ballpark feeling ill prior to the game, though Francona said he should be ready to make his scheduled start against Cincinnati on Tuesday.
White Sox: Manager Rick Renteria said OF Leury Garcia (strained left hamstring) continues to ramp up his activity, though the White Sox are “probably three or four days away” from deciding if he will go on a minor league rehab assignment.
Garcia was injured on Sunday at Tampa Bay.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (13-6, 3.69 ERA) looks to bounce back from a loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. He was 5-0 in his previous six starts.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (4-8, 5.58 ERA) — 1-7 with an 8.24 ERA in his past nine starts — tries to break his slump. He was charged with four runs in 4 1/3 innings in loss to the New York Yankees on Monday.