CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox (7-9) and the Cleveland Indians (10-7) met up for the third and final game of their three game series this weekend at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday afternoon, with the White Sox looking to salvage one win in the series after dropping the first two to the Tribe.
The White Sox fell 3-0 to the Indians on Friday night, and again on Saturday evening by a score of 7-0, marking the first time that the White Sox have been held to just three base-hits and no extra-base hits over the course of three games since August of 1991. The White Sox also entered the game in danger of allowing the Indians their first three game sweep at Guaranteed Rate Field since May of 1999.
The White Sox would strike early in their bid to avoid being on the wrong side of history on Sunday, when Melky Cabrera kicked off the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left field, plating Tim Anderson and giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first inning. Jose Abreu and Leury Garcia would also collect RBI-singles in the first inning, giving the pale hose an early 3-0 lead.
Derek Holland would breeze through the first three innings of Sunday’s contest, allowing only a walk to Indians catcher Roberto Perez in the top of the third, before allowing a solo home run to Francisco Lindor in the top of the fourth inning to make it a 3-1 White Sox lead after four innings.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the American League leader in hitting entering today’s contest, Avisail Garcia would double to center field, driving in Jose Abreu and stretching the White Sox lead to 4-1 after five innings. In the bottom of the sixth inning Melky Cabrera collected his second RBI on the afternoon with an RBI single to left field, scoring catcher Omar Narvaez and making it a 6-1 White Sox lead.
White Sox Manager Rick Renteria would call upon Nate Jones to begin the top of the seventh inning, ending Derek Holland‘s day with a line of 6.0 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 6 K, 3 BB, leaving in line for his second win of the season, and lowering his ERA to 1.99.
In the top of the seventh inning the Indians threatened after Nate Jones allowed a single to Austin Jackson, and walked Michael Martinez to set the Indians up with an opportunity to trim the White Sox lead. Jones jammed Carlos Santana on a 1-1 offering, and Santana hit a towering pop-fly into foul territory near the third base line, unfortunately third-baseman Todd Frazier was not able to corral it, as it fell just beyond his glove, giving the Indians another shot. Jones would eventually strike Santana out to end the threat from the Tribe.
In the bottom of the eighth inning the White Sox pushed one more across when Carlos Santana was charged with an error on a ground ball off of the bat of Jose Abreu that allowed Jacob May who opened the frame with a walk to score, pushing the Sox lead to 6-1. The error was the third on the afternoon by the Indians, a usually stellar defensive ball club.
Nate Jones, Tommy Kahnle, and David Robertson combined to hold the Indians to only one run through the final three innings of the ballgame on Sunday, locking up the 6-2 victory to avoid the weekend sweep by the Tribe.
Derek Holland: 6.0 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 6 K, 3 BB (W)
Avisail Garcia: 1-4, 2B, RBI
Melky Cabrera: 1-4, 2 RBI, SAC
Jose Abreu: 2-4, 2 1B, 2 R
Francisco Lindor: 2-4, HR, RBI
The White Sox offense looked like it had a pulse on Sunday afternoon, with everyone in the lineup collecting at least one base-hit besides struggling rookie center-fielder Jacob May, and Jose Abreu even recorded a multi-hit performance. Tim Anderson also recorded a multi-hit performance on Sunday, his first such performance of the season. The White Sox plated six runs on 10 hits in the victory over the Indians, a welcomed change from their last few performances.
Derek Holland looked very strong on the afternoon, with the three walks being the only blemish on a strong six innings of work, and his second victory of the season. His ERA now sits at a stellar 1.99 on the campaign.
Unlike the last few games, there really wasn’t many marks against the White Sox in the “bad” category on Sunday, outside of another hit-less day for Jacob May.
Despite the solid offensive showing, the White Sox hitters struck out 15 times on the afternoon, far too many strikeouts for a struggling offense.
The White Sox (8-9) will host the Kansas City Royals (7-10) for a three game series beginning Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. Miguel Gonzalez (2-0, 2.84) will look to repeat his stellar performance last week in the Bronx, and will be opposed by the Royals starter, Jason Vargas (3-0, 0.44 ERA) who is off to a phenomenal start as well.
First Pitch: 7:10 pm (CT)