The White Sox (33-21) entered with a five-game win streak and a 4 1⁄2 -game lead in the AL Central, and second-place Cleveland (29-24) managed to split the doubleheader after falling in a tight game earlier in the day.
So far this season, with 10 (!) contests already in the books, these two evenly-matched teams have each won five.
White Sox starter Jimmy Lambert entered tonight’s game with only two innings of major league experience. Yet things got off to a strong start for Lambert, as he retired the first five batters he faced. However, Cleveland put a rally together with two outs and nobody on base in the second. Harold Ramírez, Jake Bauers, and Bradley Zimmers hit consecutive singles to give Cleveland an early lead.
The White Sox rallied in the top of the third to knot the game up. Billy Hamilton doubled down the right-field line with one out, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Nick Madrigal singled him home.
However, the good times did not last long, as José Ramírez gave Cleveland a lead in the bottom of the third. With a runner on second and one out, Ramírez launched his 13th home run of the season. The 419-footer put Cleveland ahead by a score of 3-1, and that was a lead that did not relinquish.
Lambert lasted 3 2⁄3 innings, and he allowed those three runs (all earned) on seven hits. On the bright side, Lambert struck out four while only issuing one walk.
The bullpen got the job done, and did so without any of the club’s big-time relievers entering the game. Ryan Burr, who had not appeared in a major league game since 2019, retired all four batters he faced, and two of them were strikeouts. José Ruiz also had a strong performance, as he pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning, striking out two batters.
However, the White Sox could not claw their way back into the game, despite a few minor scoring threats in the latter innings. Jake Lamb drew a leadoff walk in the fifth, and Billy Hamilton singled him over to second with one out. However, Cleveland reliever Nick Wittgren escaped the jam with back-to-back strikeouts of Madrigal and Yasmani Grandal.
In the sixth, Yoán Moncada led off with a double, but he was stranded right there. With the score still 3-1 in the seventh, Jake Lamb singled, but the White Sox could not build on it. Leury García (pinch-hitter for Danny Mendick), Hamilton, and Madrigal all struck out, and the win streak was snapped at five.
The White Sox are back in action tomorrow evening in Cleveland, and that game will start at 5:10 p.m. CST. Dylan Cease will pitch, and it will be a challenge, as Shane Bieber is scheduled to start for Cleveland. NBC Sports Chicago will televise it, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. Jeremy Karll will have your coverage at South Side Sox, with Ashley Sanders Superstar running the numbers at Six Pack of Stats. We will see you then.