José Ramirez hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, giving Cleveland a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox and snapping the Indians’ three-game losing streak Wednesday night.
Francisco Lindor singled with one out against Jace Fry (1-1) before Jason Kipnis struck out. Chicago manager Rick Renteria brought in right-hander Kelvin Herrera to face the switch-hitting Ramirez and Lindor stole second on a 2-1 pitch.
Ramirez crushed Herrera’s next pitch — a 96 mph fastball — through a stiff wind and into the seats in right for his third homer, setting off a much-needed celebration by the Indians.
Ramirez’s teammates ran to the plate with trays of water cups to greet and douse him. The Indians have been in a season-long offensive slump and have been looking for something to get them going.
Brad Hand (2-1) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
José Abreu homered for Chicago.
The Indians came in as the AL’s worst hitting team — last in average, hits, doubles and triples — and had scored just one run in 27 innings before Tyler Naquin’s two-run single off starter Reynaldo López in the fourth gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead.
Indians starter Shane Bieber took a 3-1 lead into the seventh but couldn’t hold it.
The right-hander, who had allowed the White Sox just one run in 19 innings over three starts, gave up two singles and a sacrifice before No. 9 hitter Ryan Cordell hit a two-run single.
The Indians finally generated some offense in the fourth, scoring three runs off López, who entered with a 14.14 ERA in two previous starts at Progressive Field.
Cleveland loaded the bases on three singles with one out before Leonys Martin’s fielder’s choice gave the Indians their first run in 30 1/3 innings. López re-loaded the bases when he hit Kevin Plawecki, and Naquin made the right-hander pay for his mistake by lining a two-run single to left.
Abreu came in leading the AL in RBIs and added to his total in the fourth with his ninth homer, an opposite-field shot to right field that was pushed by stiff winds and dropped into the stands just inside the foul pole.
It was the first run allowed by Bieber in 15 1/3 career innings against Chicago.
White Sox: OF Leury Garcia (thumb bruise) was not in the starting lineup for the second straight day. Manager Rick Renteria said Garcia injured himself while swinging the bat in the past few days. He came in to pinch-run in the seventh and went into center field.
Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (forearm) had a rough outing at Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday night, allowing five earned runs while only recording one out. He currently has a 135.00 ERA. With Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger on the disabled list, Cleveland is hoping Plutko can become an option to start soon.
White Sox: LHP Manny Banuelos (2-1, 5.96) who makes his first start against Cleveland, was tagged for nine runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings against Boston on May 4.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-3, 5.60) is 8-10 with a 3.98 ERA in 26 career starts against Chicago.