3/4/2014 5:47 P.M. ET
Gillaspie, Liddi homer in loss to Indians
Abreu drives in two runs; Johnson allows one run over three innings
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians rolled out a lineup fit for Opening Day on Wednesday, when the club renewed its American League Central rivalry with the White Sox. As was the case throughout last summer, Cleveland spread its offense up and down the order.
In a 5-4 win over Chicago, lineup regulars Yan Gomes, David Murphy, Carlos Santana and Mike Aviles each came through with run-scoring hits for the Tribe. Gomes' RBI single in the second inning came off White Sox starter Erik Johnson, who projects to open the season as Chicago's likely fourth starter.
"It was the first one, I got it under my belt," Johnson said. "I thought I could've done a little bit more with throwing first-pitch strikes and working ahead, but overall it was a good one to start off with."
The 24-year-old Johnson -- selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft -- surrendered the lone run on three hits, ending with two strikeouts and one walk. In the second, Asdrubal Cabrera delivered a two-out double and then crossed the plate when Gomes sliced a pitch into right field for a single.
Cleveland right-hander Zach McAllister, who has a spot reserved in the rotation, turned in two clean innings against Chicago. McAllister yielded just one hit and finished his part in the afternoon with one strikeout and one walk. The righty did not get a chance to test out his new slider, but he did use the outing to focus on pounding the inside of the strike zone against right-handed batters.
"I felt good," McAllister said. "It wasn't as good as my first one. In my first outing, I was really consistent. I felt better in the second inning today than I did in the first one. I was able to stay in my delivery a little bit better and get the ball downhill. I was able to work on things, pitching in to righties. I was able to do that the whole time, so I was happy about that."
Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin -- competing for the lone vacancy on the starting staff -- was charged with two runs on three hits in three innings. Tomlin, who is the first Tribe starter to stretch out to three frames this spring, struck out two and walked one in the effort.
In the third inning, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu -- signed out of Cuba for six years and $68 million -- drove a pitch from Tomlin to right-center field for a two-run double. Abreu also drew a walk in the first inning against McAllister.
John Axford, Cleveland's new closer, surrendered a towering leadoff home run to Chicago third baseman Conor Gillaspie in the seventh inning. Alex Liddi then used a solo shot off Indians left Scott Barnes in the eighth to pull the game into a 4-4 tie.
Facing White Sox pitcher Eric Surkamp in the fourth inning, the Indians broke through for two runs. Cabrera singled and later scored when Murphy (the Tribe's new right fielder) contributed an RBI triple that carried to deep right. Aviles followed with a run-scoring double of his own to push the Indians to a 3-2 lead. Santana added an RBI double in the fifth.
Joe Wendle drove in the game-winning run with a two-out single off Deunte Heath in the ninth, scoring Tyler Naquin, who walked to start the frame, from second base.
Up next: The White Sox return to the top of their rotation Wednesday as Chris Sale makes his second start of the spring in the club's 2:05 p.m. CT contest at Camelback Ranch against the Padres. Sale worked 2 2/3 innings in his Cactus League opener against the Dodgers last week, allowing one hit while striking out four.