There’s a little magic left in Jason Giambi’s bat after all.
The 42-year-old former MVP, who entered with a .177 average in 181 at-bats this season, hit a walkoff homer off Addison Reed in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Indians a 5-4 win over the White Sox on Tuesday.
It was the Indians’ fifth straight win, upping their record to 87-70 and keeping them in wild card position with five games to go.
The White Sox took the lead in the top of the ninth tonight on solo homers from Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza off embattled closer Chris Perez. It was Perez’s fifth blown save in 30 tries. Reed countered with his eighth blown save in 47 chances.
Incredibly, it was the second time this year Giambi hit a walkoff homer off Reed. He did so in a tie game back on July 29. He has 10 career walkoff homers.
The homer was the 438th of Giambi’s career, tying him with Andre Dawson and Adam Dunn for 39th place on the all-time list. The only active players with more are Alex Rodriguez (654), Manny Ramirez (555) and Albert Pujols (492).
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.