AL Central

The White Sox Score Early and Often to Beat Cleveland

Melky Cabrera was the designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CHICAGO- It appears as if Rick Renteria’s pre-game words to the media spoke volumes as his Chicago White Sox salvaged their series with the Cleveland Indians by winning game three on Sunday by the final score of 6-2. The White Sox (8-9) got the scoring started early and never looked back. They got three runs in the first inning thanks to RBI’s from designated hitter Melky Cabrera, first baseman Jose Abreu and outfielder Leury Garcia.

His fellow outfielder Avisail Garcia (no relation) added an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning, Cabrera added an RBI single one inning later, and outfielder Jacob May scored on a fielding error bottom of the eighth. In the end the Sox ended the Indians (10-8) five-game winning streak. Cleveland’s only runs came from a Francisco Lindor solo home run in the top of the fourth, followed by a wild pitch from Sox closer David Robertson that allowed Lonnie Chisenhall to score who led off the inning by pinch-hitting for Austin Jackson.

“They did a nice job,” said Renteria in his postgame press conference. “They came out right out of the chute and we were able to take advantage.”

Abreu and Cabrera went a combined 3-for-8 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. Abreu now has a .351 lifetime batting average against Cleveland at Guaranteed Rate Field, and he’s gone 14-for-32 (.438) in his last nine home games against the Indians.  The Sox also broke a 23-inning scoreless streak which started back on April 19th against the New York Yankees.

“Everybody knows how good Cleveland’s pitchers are,” said Abreu through team translator Billy Russo. He continued, “Today, we came alive against (Danny) Salazar and we did our job. It was good today for us.”

The Sox chased Salazar out of the game after five innings of work for just his second loss of the season. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits despite collecting nine strikeouts. Pitching for the White Sox on the other hand was a much better story. Derek Holland only allowed one run on three hits while throwing 102 pitches to get his second win in six innings of work. He has thrown 90 or more pitches in all four of his starts in 2017.

“It was awesome to see the offense take off like that today,” said Holland after the game. “I have do my part once they do stuff like that and shut down the other side.”

This win combined with Minnesota’s loss to Detroit on Sunday have moved the White Sox back into second place in the AL Central standings. Cleveland is now tied with Detroit for first. And with the last place Kansas City Royals (7-11) coming to Chicago for a three-game series starting on Monday, the Sox have a chance gain further ground in the division.

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