Brantley, Ramirez, Kipnis homer; Indians beat White Sox 7-3
CLEVELAND – Michael Brantley, Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis each hit a solo home run, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 7-3 on Tuesday night.
Brantley was 3 for 4 and extended his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest active streak in the majors. He homered in the third and had an RBI single in the seventh.
Ramirez hit his team-leading 16th home run in the fifth and drove in a run with a first-inning double.
Kipnis homered in the eighth for Cleveland, which has won four straight and is 12-5 against the AL Central.
Mike Clevinger (4-2) allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out seven and allowed four hits.
Chicago has lost five of six and has the worst record in the majors (16-36). Lucas Giolito (3-6) allowed five runs in six innings.
Tim Anderson had an RBI single in the second for Chicago. Daniel Palka doubled to lead off and scored on Anderson’s one-out hit. Charlie Tilson drew a two-out walk, but Clevinger struck out Omar Narvaez.
Palka hit a leadoff homer in the ninth off Dan Otero.
Cleveland’s shaky bullpen allowed two runs over the final 2 1/3 innings. Tyler Olson worked a scoreless inning and Otero got slugger Jose Abreu on a double play ball to end the eighth. Zach McAllister gave up Trayce Thompson’s two-out RBI single, but Narvaez grounded out.
The Indians felt pressured to respond to an unsubstantiated report from the Dominican Republic that Ramirez was on the verge of being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs.
Both manager Terry Francona and team president Chris Antonetti addressed the issue before the game. Antonetti said the club reached out to MLB for additional assurance that “there was nothing to the rumor.” Ramirez had told the club he was not involved in any wrongdoing.
Ramirez also went on Twitter and posted, “FAKE NEWS.”
Antonetti and Francona spoke with Ramirez on Tuesday afternoon.
“He said, ‘I have no idea what they’re talking about; I’ve worked really hard to try and become the player that I am, and there’s nothing to it,'” Antonetti said. “We believed Jose when he told us that.”
White Sox: C Kevan Smith (ankle) was activated off the disabled list at Triple-A Charlotte. Manager Rick Renteria indicated that Smith could return to the big leagues this weekend when Chicago hosts Milwaukee.
Indians: OF Lonnie Chisenhall (strained right calf), Bradley Zimmer (bruised left rib) and Brandon Guyer (strained neck) are close to being activated.
White Sox RHP Reynaldo Lopez (1-3, 2.93 ERA) takes on Indians RHP Corey Kluber (7-2, 2.17 ERA) in the three-game series finale. Reigning AL Cy Young winner Kluber has allowed three or fewer runs in 23 consecutive starts, dating back to Aug. 3, 2017.