CLEVELAND — A game that started out fine, got really ugly, and almost redeemed itself still ended in a 6-4 loss for the Chicago White Sox.
Worse, the team awaits news of ace Lucas Giolito, who left midway through his third inning after an apparent arm injury.
The White Sox struck fast and in surprising fashion against Cleveland ace Shane Bieber, as with two outs in the first Eloy Jiménez reached on an error, Edwin Encarnación singled, and José Abreu doubled on a wormburner down the third-base line, scoring two.
But Cleveland answered right back, as Oscar Mercado led off with a single, José Ramírez walked, and Francisco Lindor homered to right to take the lead back.
The game continued to see-saw, as with two outs in the second the White Sox again rallied: Adam Engel was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error on the steal, and came in on a Yoán Moncada single.
After disaster struck in the third, Carson Fulmer came on and was heroic in relief of the injured Giolito. The long man threw 3 ⅔ hitless innings, with a run, walk and hit batsman against five Ks (including a strikeout of the side in the fifth, when he should have been gassed). In the early going this season, Fulmer sports a 1.59 ERA.
While Fulmer was spinning some magic, the White Sox squandered a golden opportunity in the fourth. Tim Anderson was hit by a pitch and stole second, and Nick Madrigal bunted for a single and stole second base. With ducks on the pond, Bieber (10 Ks on the day) struck out Engel, Moncada and Yasmani Grandal.
The White Sox tied the game up one more time, punching Cleveland back after it went up 4-3 in the sixth: Moncada singled and stole second, and Jiménez drove him home with a two-out single.
After Ramírez hit a two-run homer off of Evan Marshall in the seventh to put Cleveland back in the lead, 6-4, the White Sox had the table set for a stirring comeback in the ninth. With one out, Luis Robert had a pinch-single and moved to second when Cleveland closer Brad Hand made an errant pickoff throw. Grandal walked, but with two outs and the tying runs on board, Jiménez struck out to end the game.
NOTES: The all-or-nothing White Sox are back, striking out 14 times while walking once ... Chicago stole four bases, running its season total to seven-of-eight ... the 2.73 starter’s ERA for the White Sox is third-best in baseball ... the now-fourth place South Siders travel to Boston for a Thursday matinee.
Around the majors
- Lance McCullers Jr. threw eight shutout innings in a three-hit, one-walk, 11-K, 3-0 win for Houston (5-2) over Oakland (2-5).
- Max Kepler’s first two home runs this season pushed the 5-2 Twins to a 6-2 win over Seattle (2-5).