The Chicago White Sox could not grab a series victory against the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians in an afternoon matinee on the South Side this afternoon.
The game got off to an ominous start when Francisco Lindor took Carlos Rodon deep on the third pitch of the game. Catcher and .423 hitter Kevan Smith wanted the ball inside, but Rodon left it over the heart of the plate, and Lindor didn’t miss it.
Jose Abreu responded in the bottom-half of the inning with the only runs the Sox would score on the day. He muscled a two-run home run over the right field fence to give the Sox an early 2-1 lead. Abreu now has an .861 OPS to go along with 11 home runs. He’s certainly playing like an All-Star.
Rodon was not the most efficient with his pitches today. He threw 100 pitches with only 59 for strikes. He walked in the tying run in the third on a 3-2 pitch that never really was a strike out of his hand.
The big lefty finished with five innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits and three walks. He did strike out four, though.
Chris Volstad worked a scoreless sixth inning but ran into trouble in the seventh. Jose Ramirez crushed a two-run home run off the tall right-hander to give the Indians a 4-2 lead.
The Indians added a run in the eighth after Juan Minaya could not handle a toss from Abreu while he was running to cover first base. It would have been another stellar play from Abreu in the series.
On the other side, Mike Clevinger was just too good. After giving up just one run over 6 1/3 innings against the Sox a few weeks ago, Clevinger threw seven innings of one-run ball today. He struck out 11 and had Sox hitters off-balance all day.
The Sox move to 24-43, while the Indians improve to 36-31. The Sox welcome the Detroit Tigers to town tomorrow night.