The White Sox finished the season series with the Indians losing 17 of 19 games, including the last 14 games. Outside of a monstrous Avisail Garcia home run that briefly gave the Sox a 1-0 lead, there's not much to distinguish this defeat from the 13 in a row that preceded it.
The trademark of this two-game series? The Sox's inability to hold a lead, or even score without being scored upon. In that respect, tonight looked very much like Tuesday evening. After Garcia took Danny Salazar deep to left to start the top of the second, the Sox found themselves trailing before the inning ended, thanks to an ugly series of events.
With two outs and a runner on first, Josh Phegley couldn't block a Dylan Axelrod slider in the dirt, allowing Lonnie Chisenhall to take second. Drew Stubbs then hit a hard bouncer to the left side. Marcus Semien didn't read the spin, and it hopped over his glove for a run-scoring error. Alejandro De Aza compounded the error by throwing home when he had no play, which allowed Stubbs to lead second. That came around to haunt the Sox when Michael Brantley followed with a single to center to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead.
The White Sox spent the rest of the game in the Indians' wake. The Sox did tag another run on Salazar in the sixth when Dayan Viciedo drove in one of his inherited runners, making it a 4-2 game. Unlike De Aza, Brantley did not throw home in vain, and the cut-off throw should've ended up in Garcia running into an out between second and third. Viciedo made matters worse by not establishing position on second, instead waiting to see if Garcia would be able to return safely.
When Garcia doubled back, Viciedo began retreating to first. What should've been a dual mistake ended up harmless, because the Indians botched the rundown, and both runners made it back to their bases with nobody covering.
That was about it for the whimsy, because as you might expect, the Indians got the run back in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 5-2 game, and the Sox couldnl't mount another threat. Terry Francona used five relievers over 3⅔ innings, and they allowed just two hits while striking out eight.
The White Sox will return home for a season-ending four-game series against the Royals. They finished the road portion of their schedule with a 26-55 record away from U.S. Cellular Field.
*Phegley committed the other White Sox error on a night. He had no chance throwing out Jason Kipnis, but he bounced the throw well to the first base side of second and into center field. He also failed to catch a pop-up against the screen, the Indians stole three bases in three tries, and he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, so it wasn't his best night of work.
*The Sox struck out 16 times on the night. setting a season high for a nine-inning game.
*With one more loss, the White Sox will wrap up the third overall pick.