CLEVELAND — The home crowd of 24,652 at Progressive Field burst into a raucous applause when LeBron James' face was displayed on the scoreboard in the second inning, accompanied by a simple message: "Welcome home."
They got even louder when Nick Swisher's fifth-inning homer broke a 4-4 tie and gave the Indians a two-run lead over the Chicago White Sox on Friday. The Tribe went on to win 7-4, racking up 10 hits in the process.
Swisher just barely missed a home run in the fourth inning when a deep line drive found the wrong side of the right-field foul pole. He ended the at-bat with a strikeout, visibly showing his frustration. But his fifth-inning blast perfectly encapsulated the theme of the day for the city of Cleveland: redemption.
Every inning in which the White Sox scored, the Indians (46-46) answered in the bottom half.
The White Sox got two off Indians starter Corey Kluber in the top of the second when Conor Gillaspie, Alejandro De Aza and Adrian Nieto strung together three consecutive hits from the bottom of Chicago's order.
David Murphy responded with a two-run homer in the bottom half, his sixth of the season and first since May 21.
Chicago retook the lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Adam Eaton.
The Indians came back and loaded the bases the following half-inning, allowing recent acquisition Chris Dickerson to record his first RBI as an Indian by drawing a four-pitch walk.
Adam Dunn hit his 14th homer the following inning, a shot to center field that put the White Sox (44-50) back on top 4-3.
That's when the Indians stopped matching the White Sox and instead took a lead.
Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a single, then tried to steal second base. He was called out and immediately signaled to Tribe manager Terry Francona to challenge the call. Francona heeded his shortstop's advice, and the call was overturned. Lonnie Chisenhall made the challenge even worth more by singling to center, scoring Cabrera and knotting things up at 4-4.
Then Swisher really gave Indians fans something to cheer about - not that there had been any shortage of celebration for Cleveland sports fans up until that point.
Two innings later, the Indians padded their lead on an RBI double by Carlos Santana, scoring Michael Brantley.
Despite not turning in one of his better performances, All-Star snub Kluber earned the win and improved to 9-6. He threw six innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits, two walks and a homer. He struck out five.
The Indians' bullpen continued to dominate, with John Axford and Bryan Shaw pitching scoreless seventh and eighth innings before Cody Allen struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save of the season.
Cabrera led the Indians at the plate by reaching three times on two singles and a walk. He stole a base and scored a run.
Swisher had a single to go along with his homer, bringing his season average up to .207, the highest it's been since June 15.