Offense fails to support Salazar’s strong start
CLEVELAND — Derek Holland has turned Progressive Field into his own personal playground.
Holland held Cleveland hitless until the sixth inning and late fill-in Matt Davidson had a two-run single that helped the Chicago White Sox beat the Indians 2-1 Wednesday night.
Holland (1-1) gave up a leadoff double to Francisco Lindor in the sixth. The White Sox lefty struck out four, walked four and threw 101 pitches in six innings.
“Every inning I had fans yelling at me from the fourth on, telling me ‘Hey, you’ve got a no-hitter,’ and I was like ‘Thanks, Captain Obvious, I kind of know that.'”
Holland is 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA in five starts at Progressive Field. He is 6-1 with a 2.35 ERA in 10 career starts against Cleveland.
Pitching in Cleveland’s ballpark is something personal to Holland, a native of Newark, Ohio, about a two-hour drive away. Several family members and friends made the trip, and Holland dedicated the game to his grandmother, who passed away during spring training.
“I wrote ‘Granny’ on the back of the mound,” he said. “That was our name for her. It meant a lot. I’ll be writing it all year just because it was somebody that I really care about. She was like a mom to me, too.”
David Robertson pitched the ninth for his first save.
Davidson, added to the lineup when third baseman Todd Frazier was scratched with flu-like symptoms, drove in two runs with a single in the second.
Danny Salazar (0-1) struck out 11, matching a career high, in six innings.
Cleveland scored in the eighth. Carlos Santana led off with a single against Nate Jones and Lindor hit another double. Michael Brantley’s RBI groundout moved Lindor to third, but Edwin Encarnacion struck out and Jose Ramirez grounded out.
Salazar walked Cody Asche and allowed Avisail Garcia’s double in the second, setting up Davidson’s hit.
The Indians have dropped four of five, scoring three or fewer runs in each of the losses.
“Everybody wants it to change yesterday, myself included, but you have to be patient,” manager Terry Francona said. “It will change.”
Ramirez’s $26 million, five-year contract includes a $2 million signing bonus payable May 31. His salary this year remains $571,400, the same as in the one-year deal he agreed to in February, and he gets $2,428,600 in 2018, $3.75 million in 2019, $6.25 million in 2020 and $9 million in 2021.
Cleveland has an $11 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout and, if that is exercised, a $13 million option for 2023. The option prices can escalate by up to $1 million apiece: $500,000 for each time he finishes among the top five in MVP voting.
Davidson is taking advantage of his opportunities, batting .385 with five RBIs and 11 total bases in five games.
“We all feel very confident with his at-bats,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Obviously the strength that he has, you’re always hoping that he can put a good swing on a pitch and maybe drive it.”
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis, playing his third game on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron, was removed from Wednesday’s game against Trenton after being hit on the left hand by a pitch. Kipnis, who hasn’t played in the majors this season because of a sore right shoulder, was hit in the first inning. The Indians said he was removed for precautionary reasons in the third. Kipnis was hit by Justus Sheffield, who was traded by the Indians to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal last season.