Derek Holland sure loves pitching in Cleveland.
In six scoreless innings, the southpaw held the Indians scoreless and allowed just one hit as the Sox offense provided just enough support in the 2-1 victory. In five starts at Progressive Field, Holland is 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA over 35.1 innings.
All of the damage came in the second inning for the Sox. Cody Asche started with a lead-off walk and would advance to third when Avisail Garcia barreled up a fastball for a ground-rule double. StatCast had 101.1 mph exit velocity and a 71% hit probability. Both Asche and Garcia would score on Matt Davidson's single to left field.
Leading 2-0, it appeared the Sox offense wasn't finished. Omar Narvaez flyout to right field was deep enough allowing Davidson to advance to third base. Leury Garcia was hit by a pitch, and the Sox had runners on the corners with only one hit.
On a 2-2 pitch, Tyler Saladino watched a called strike and Cleveland Indians catcher Roberto Perez threw a seed to second base catching Garcia stealing for the double play.
Luckily, the two-run outburst was enough. Holland was able to pitch out of jams in the second and sixth innings as Cleveland had runners in scoring position. On his 100th pitch, Brandon Guyer popped out to Jose Abreu to end Holland's evening.
Cleveland's starter Danny Salazar outside of the second inning was quite impressive. Recording 11 strikeouts in six innings, Salazar was able to keep Sox hitters off balance with his changeup. For his career, Salazar is now 5-3 with a 3.65 ERA in 10 starts against Chicago.
After an impressive debut by Anthony Swarzak, who recorded two strikeouts in 1-2-3 seventh inning, things got a bit tense for the Sox in the eighth. Nate Jones, who is starting the season slowly, almost blew the lead. Carlos Santana lead it off as his grounder squirted under Abreu and Saladino's off-balance throw was missed by Jones who was covering first. Francisco Lindor crushed (106.8 mph exit velocity) a 3-1 fastball off the center field wall. If that fly ball were five feet higher Lindor would have tied the game.
Instead, with runners on second and third with no outs, Michael Brantley hit a chopper up the first base line. It appeared that Abreu had a throwing window to nail Santana heading home, but instead held the ball to tag Brantley for the first out. Cleveland looked to be in good shape with big free-agent signing Edwin Encarnacion at the plate.
Even though the Indians won yesterday's game in extra innings, Encarnacion had two opportunities to blow the game open. Instead, he hit into two 5-4-3 double plays ending both threats.
Tonight with one out and a runner on third, Encarnacion struck out. Jose Ramirez grounded out to Abreu at first, and Jones left with the lead intact.
In the ninth, White Sox closer David Robertson sealed his first save of 2017 with a two strikeout, 1-2-3 inning.