After the ball cleared the right-field fence, Viciedo pointed to Chicago’s dugout, which erupted in celebration.
“That was for the team. That was very exciting,” he said.
Other than Jose Abreu’s major league-leading 12th homer, a solo drive in the first inning, the AL’s highest-scoring team couldn’t manufacture any runs.
Corey Kluber struck out a career-high 13 in eight innings, including a team-record seven straight. He allowed three hits and two walks, leaving with a 3-1 lead after 110 pitches.
“I was looking for a pitch I could make good contact with,” Viciedo said. “He made a mistake, and I made him pay for it.”
Axford gave up the homer on a 96 mph four-seamer.
“I fell behind in the count to too many guys, and it didn’t work out,” he said. “I put two guys on base without me even challenging. I just couldn’t find it. The home run was on a fastball. Not a very good pitch, obviously.”
“If anyone got on base, he was going to come out of the game, and I didn’t think that was fair to him,” Francona said.
Kluber had no problem with Francona’s strategy.
“That’s not my decision. I trust Tito’s judgment,” he said.