CLEVELAND -- In a season plagued by inconsistency for the Cleveland Indians, the bullpen is the one area that has held its own. On Sunday at Progressive Field, the relievers helped anchor a much-needed win.
After starter Carlos Carrasco pitched a so-so 5 1/3 innings, relievers Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw and closer Cody Allen combined to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless innings on one hit, striking out six of the 12 batters they faced in a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
"You know you want to score early against them, because you know what type of bullpen they have," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.
Erik Gonzalez -- in the lineup at second base in place of Jason Kipnis, who was given a day off -- had two hits and an RBI to lead the Cleveland offense.
"He was in the middle of everything," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Gonzalez, who is a highly regarded shortstop/second base prospect who has trouble finding playing time in Cleveland's veteran lineup.
"That's the dilemma," Francona said. "The guys he would play for are our key guys that don't sit very often. But to his credit, he stays sharp."
Carrasco (6-3) gave up two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Allen pitched the ninth inning for his 15th save.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana (2-8) gave up three runs and five hits in five innings and took the loss.
Quintana came into the game with the second-lowest run support (2.58 runs per game) of any pitcher in the majors. Sure enough, the White Sox were held scoreless in the five innings that Quintana was in the game.
"We had some scoring opportunities early, but we stranded some runners. Carrasco did a nice job of minimizing the damage," Renteria said.
It has been an inconsistent season for Quintana, who in 13 starts has a 5.30 ERA, which is more than two runs higher than his career ERA.
"At some point, you have to figure it will click for him," Renteria said. "You know he'll settle down and may be the second-half guy we need."
The slow-starting Encarnacion has now hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games, hitting five home runs with 10 RBIs in that stretch.
"He looks dangerous now," Francona said. "He looks hitterish. Pretty ferocious."
The Indians extended their lead in the fourth. With one out, Austin Jackson singled, putting runners at first and second. Perez flied out to deep center, allowing Jose Ramirez, the runner at second, to move to third.
Ramirez then scored on a wild pitch by Quintana, with Jackson moving to second. Gonzalez followed with a single to center, scoring Jackson to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead.
Carrasco held the White Sox scoreless on five hits through the first five innings, but after retiring the first batter in the sixth, he ran into trouble. It started when Carrasco hit Jose Abreu on the left arm with a pitch. Avisail Garcia doubled over the head of left fielder Michael Brantley, moving Abreu to third.
Todd Frazier then lined a 3-2 pitch into the gap in left-center field for a two-run double, cutting the Cleveland lead to 3-2.
Carrasco was removed from the game after Frazier's hit, and Miller came in to strike out the next two batters to end the inning.
"(Carrasco) wasn't having his most powerful day, and with the score 3-2, I thought it was a good time to get him out of there," Francona said.
Carrasco said, "When I saw Miller coming in, I said to myself, 'This inning is over.' Our bullpen is unbelievable."
Miller pitched 1 2/3 innings, retiring all five batters he faced, striking out three.
"He's just really good and really competitive. That's a nice combination to have," Francona said.
The Indians added an insurance run in the seventh when Gonzalez doubled off reliever Chris Beck and scored when Francisco Lindor, snapping an 0-for-11 hitless slide, belted a double off Tommy Kahnle.
NOTES: Indians LHP Andrew Miller's 0.29 ERA is the lowest of any reliever in the majors. ... The Indians will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game series starting Tuesday. It will be just the second time the Dodgers have ever played at Progressive Field. The other time was 2003. ... White Sox OF Avisail Garcia doubled and scored in the sixth inning. Garcia has hit safely in each of his last nine games at Progressive Field, batting .343 (12-for-35) in that span with a home run, two doubles and six RBIs. ... Chicago OF Leury Garcia left the game in the fifth inning with a jammed middle finger on his left hand. ... White Sox RHP Mike Pelfrey, who will start Monday against Baltimore, is 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA in his last four starts.