Johnny Cueto held the Cleveland Guardians scoreless for 8.2 innings in Saturday night’s win. The 36-year-old veteran is having one of the best years of his career and continues to bolster the Chicago White Sox' playoff hopes. Jose Abreu’s RBI double and a heads-up base running by Elvis Andrus provided the run support as the Sox moved within 2.5 games of the Guardians.
Cueto notched his 10th consecutive quality start. The righty struck out two and issued one free pass while scattering five hits on the night. He is the first Sox' pitcher with 10 straight quality starts since Carlos Rodon (last eight of 2015, first two of 2016). Cueto has a 2.17 ERA during those 10 starts and has pitched at least six innings in 16 of his 17 starts.
Tony La Russa pulled Cueto for Liam Hendriks with one on and two outs in the ninth after 113 pitches. Hendriks struck out rookie Oscar Gonzalez for his 28th save.
Shane Bieber pitched well, but it wasn't enough to keep up with Cueto. The Guardians' starter allowed two runs on five hits in his 6.1 innings of work.
Jose Abreu got the White Sox on the board in the sixth when his double to center plated Luis Robert.
Bieber had only allowed one hit before the sixth. Elvis Andrus scored in the seventh when Will Benson’s throw from right field bounced and hit catcher Luke Maile on his mask. The ball caromed away from him and reliever James Karinchak couldn’t retrieve it before Andrus touched home plate. A savvy base-running play by the veteran extended the Sox lead to 2-0.
Bad Luck Strikes Again
Yasmani Grandal injured his left knee while attempting to score from second base on a single in the seventh. It was a very questionable send by third base coach Joe McEwing with no outs and a one-run lead. Grandal was unable to put any weight on his leg as he was helped off the field. The veteran backstop was on crutches after the game and said he wouldn't know more until undergoing tests.
Carlos Perez will be called up to replace Grandal.
Luis Robert started for the first time in eight games after spraining his left wrist.
Andrew Vaughn was struck in the face by a pitch that first glanced off his shoulder Friday. He was in uniform but did not play.
Eloy Jimenez served as the designated hitter one night after exiting in the middle of an at-bat after hyper-extending his knee.
What’s On Tap Next?
Dylan Cease will take the mound in the series finale. The Chicago White Sox look to take the series in the rubber match against Cleveland’s Aaron Civale. Cease is third in the majors in ERA and fourth in strikeouts. The game will air on Peacock and Sox On Tap will have the postgame show.