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White Sox Struggles Continue as Cleveland Sweeps, Tops Division

The White Sox looked lifeless in their fourth consecutive loss and have combined to score just 13 runs in their last seven games.

Luis Robert Chicago White Sox Cleveland Guadians Score
Photo: MLB.com

After an abysmal Wednesday doubleheader, the Chicago White Sox hoped to bounce back Thursday afternoon. But another lifeless performance resulted in a 6-3 loss. It was the South Siders’ fourth defeat in a row overall and third consecutive loss at the hands of the Cleveland Guardians.

Dylan Cease took the mound for the White Sox to match up against Guardians righty Zach Plesac. Cease has been pitching like a Cy Young candidate early in the season and his presence provided some hope for a better outcome. These two lineups have seen plenty of the opposing pitcher and figure to do so again in 2022.

Cleveland Strikes First, Never Surrenders

The game appeared to be going as expected in the early going. Plesac and Cease cruised through the first two innings until Cleveland opened the scoring in the third frame.

Steven Kwan, who made a phenomenal run-saving throw for the Guardians in Game 2 of Wednesday’s doubleheader, led off with a double. Cease maintained order for the time being by getting the next two Guardians to ground out. But a first pitch fastball to Franmil Reyes proved costly as the big righty smashed it over the right-center field wall for a 400-foot homer to make the score 2-0.

The Guardians added runs in the fifth and sixth inning. An RBI single from Josh Naylor scored Kwan in the fifth to set up Kwan plating Gimenez on a sac fly off Bennett Sousa to make it 4-1.

The book on Cease closed following the inherited runner that Sousa allowed to score. The Sox starter finished with a final line of 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HR.

The White Sox offense scattered eight hits throughout the game. They got a couple of gift runs in the seventh inning to pull within one run when Adam Haseley hit what seemed like an inning-ending tapper back to the mound. But errant throws by Guardians pitcher Trevor Stephan and second baseman Ernie Clement allowed two runs to score.

Guardians Unfazed

Plesac cruised despite the aforementioned blunders by his defense. The Guardians’ right-hander finished with a final line of 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.

Cleveland had no problems earning those runs back. Naylor added an RBI double and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Andres Gimenez in the seventh for the final run of the ballgame. Those runs came off White Sox reliever Kendall Graveman, marking his first real hiccup of the 2022 season.

White Sox Notes

Luis Robert left the game in the eighth inning with a minor groin strain.

After not appearing in either game Wednesday, Eloy Jimenez returned to the lineup as DH.

The White Sox have scored 13 runs in their last seven games.

What’s On Tap Next?

The Chicago White Sox will get out of Cleveland as fast as possible. However, they face another AL Central road test when they visit the Minnesota Twins for a weekend series.

The good news is the Cleveland series is over and Lucas Giolito and AJ Pollock will return against Minnesota. Those two names are much-needed reinforcements coming off the injured list.

Michael Kopech, Vince Velasquez, and Giolito are the scheduled Sox starters against the Twins this weekend. The action commences Friday at 7:10 PM CT and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.

Tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast for postgame reaction and further White Sox commentary all season.

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