The Chicago White Sox responded well after losing a pair yesterday to outlast the Cleveland Indians 4-0 behind a masterful pitching performance.
Zach Plesac and Lucas Giolito cruised through the first three innings until Cleveland threatened to break open the scoring in the fourth. Cesar Hernandez stood on third and Jose Ramirez occupied first with no outs. Giolito was able to retire Francisco Lindor and get Carlos Santana to ground into an inning-ending double play, keeping the game scoreless.
Plesac escaped a bit of trouble of his own in the sixth. Adam Engel began the inning with a double, but a Tim Anderson strikeout, a Yoan Moncada laser line out, and a Jose Abreu groundout put an end to the White Sox mild threat.
With two outs in Cleveland's half of the sixth, Hernandez singled to right. Ramirez drilled one to right that Engel cut off nicely to hold Hernandez at third. Ramirez would remain at first. Giolito then walked Lindor to load the bases. It warranted a visit from pitching coach Don Cooper prior to Santana’s at-bat. The Indians' cleanup hitter flew out to left-center to end the inning to keep the score knotted at 0-0 through six at Progressive Field. Manager Ricky Renteria would then end Giolito’s night and go to the bullpen. The Sox ace threw 85 pitches with 81 of them being fastballs or changeups. It was a solid bounce-back outing after his Opening Day mishap.
Better Late Than Never
Plesac went eight innings before turning things over to Cleveland’s left-handed closer Brad Hand for the ninth inning with goose eggs still on the board. Anderson didn’t wait long to get himself to second base with a leadoff double. Moncada followed with a full-count walk. Abreu then was plunked on a two-strike pitch that loaded the bases with no outs. Yasmani Grandal sprayed a ball to right that Domingo Santana caught. Anderson tagged and scored to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
Edwin Encarnacion was awarded first on a catcher’s interference call to reload the bases. Terry Francona saw enough of Hand. He made the call to the pen for Adam Cimber. Eloy Jimenez drove one to center that was hauled in by Oscar Mercado. On the play, Moncada tagged and scored to double the Sox lead, 2-0. Luis Robert shot a ball back up the middle to score Abreu and Ryan Goins, who pinch ran for Encarnacion, to double the lead once again.
Alex Colomé took the hill in the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation. Ramirez earned his third hit of the night, all of them to right, for a leadoff single. Franmil Reyes singled in the same direction to put runners on the corners with two outs. Bradley Zimmer won a long at-bat with a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. Santana slammed on the brakes, grounding out to Anderson to end the game and give the Sox their second win of the year by a score of 4-0 over the Tribe.
Despite his great performance, Giolito received a no-decision. However, the bullpen work by Evan Marshall and Aaron Bummer was superb. Luis Robert now has a six-game hitting streak. It was also great to see Grandal really work well with pitchers after the slow start we saw from him. The White Sox have a day off tomorrow before beginning a three-game series with the Royals in Kansas City on Friday night.
Catch the Sox On Tap Podcast for reactions and analysis wherever you listen to podcasts.