Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Indians alone in 1st place with win

Damon goes 0-for-3 in debut for Tribe


Carlos Santana celebrates his three-run home run to help give Cleveland the lead in the fifth inning Wednesday night.


CHICAGO -- Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner homered to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 6-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

Santana hit his fourth homer of the season, a three-run shot in the fifth inning that landed well behind the Indians' bullpen in right field.

Hafner added a two-run shot in the ninth.

Jack Hannahan doubled home Michael Brantley with the go-ahead run in the eighth off Addison Reed.

Johnny Damon went 0 for 3 with a walk in his Indians' debut, starting in left field and leading off. The 38-year-old Damon is with his seventh organization in 18 big league seasons, and is 277 hits shy of 3,000.

Damon was replaced in the sixth inning because of what the team called "general cramping."

Four Cleveland relievers combined for three scoreless innings in relief of Josh Tomlin, extending the bullpen's shutout streak to 15⅔ innings.

Joe Smith (1-0) picked up the win and Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.

Adam Dunn reached base three times and hit his sixth homer for Chicago. Alexei Ramirez added a two-run single.

Will Ohman (0-1) took the loss in relief.

White Sox starter Phil Humber held Cleveland to three runs in six innings, making key pitches to escape a couple of jams.

He was wild all night, walking a career-high six and hitting another.

After throwing the 21st perfect game in big league history at Seattle on April 21, Humber allowed a career-high nine runs in five innings against Boston on April 26.

With Brantley on first in the eighth, Ohman appeared to escape the inning when Casey Kotchman hit a grounder at Dunn, but the ball was ruled foul by first base umpire Eric Cooper. Kotchman walked, and Hannahan stroked a ball up the left-field line.

Humber worked out of a pair of early jams despite walking five and hitting another during his first five innings.

He struck out Shin-Soo Choo with the bases loaded to end the first and third innings.

Humber's wildness caught up with him in the fifth. His two-out walk to Asdrubal Cabrera extended the inning.

Hafner's single set up Santana's three-run homer, putting Cleveland ahead 3-1.

Dunn's solo homer in the fourth snapped a string of seven straight batters retired by Tomlin. Ramirez hit a two-out single in the fifth to drive in two runs, tying the game 3-all.

NOTES: Choo returned to the lineup after sitting out since April 24 with a groin injury.

April was wild

CHICAGO -- Albert Pujols is homerless, and that's just one of many concerns for the Los Angeles Angels. There are no such problems for the nearby Dodgers, who are off to a great start -- on and off the field.

There were politics in Miami, power in Texas, and perfection for the White Sox in Seattle. There were a handful of surprises in the standings -- at the top and the bottom.

Baseball's first month of the season sure provided plenty to talk about.

"I know I can hit home runs," Pujols said during the longest regular-season power outage of his career. "When it's going to happen, I don't know."

No one knows, and that's making Angels fans a little antsy after beginning the season with high expectations.

While the Angels are searching for answers, it's nothing but sunshine and smiles for their SoCal neighbors these days.

Powered by Matt Kemp, the Dodgers won 17 of their first 24 games to grab control of the NL West. The tumultuous era of Frank McCourt also came to an end when the owner agreed to sell the team to a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson.

This is shaping up as quite the L.A. story.

"I think the fans of L.A. are pretty excited about the new ownership and what it's bringing," said Kemp, who had 12 homers and 25 RBIs in April. "As long as L.A. is happy, I'm happy."

It was hard to find any happy fans in Miami after new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen told Time magazine he admired Fidel Castro, sparking anger within the Cuban community in South Florida.

The Marlins acted quickly, suspending Guillen for five games, and the loquacious manager called it the biggest mistake of his life during a tearful, public apology. The tension had eased a bit by the time April ended, but then the talk switched to Guillen's struggling team.

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