CHICAGO – Nearing the end of a stretch of 33 games in 33 days, the White Sox showed some fatigue during a 5-2 loss to the Indians on Saturday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Sox failed to win their sixth straight game, and they failed to reach the .500 mark.
Instead, they lost to Cleveland after failing to convert on some prime scoring chances.
“They’re trying to catch their breath now since we’ve been going so long,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Right now, we’re holding our own.”
That is true. The Sox were tied for second place with the Indians in the American League Central before Saturday’s setback, and they are playing like a team that should be heard from in the future.
The Sox also catch a break next week with off days Monday and Thursday.
In the loss to Cleveland, the bats never woke up.
“Sometimes you’ve got to tip your cap to the other team,” catcher James McCann said. “They made pitches when they needed to. We couldn’t come up with the big hit, and they came up with the big hit when they needed to.”
In the third inning, the Sox (28-30) loaded the bases with no outs and managed to score only one run.
The inning ended on a double play that saw Yolmer Sanchez get picked off second base and Charlie Tilson get thrown out trying to get back to first.
“Not one of the best plays,” Renteria said.
In the fourth inning, the Sox had runners on second and third with one out. Eloy Jimenez popped out on the infield, and Yonder Alonso struck out to end the threat.
In the seventh, the Sox had runners on second and third with no outs and were held to a run.
“You can see the frustration here today,” McCann said. “Today’s game could have very easily gone the other way. It very easily could have been a 5-2 victory for us. That’s part of the game. We had a good streak, and guys are ready to bounce back tomorrow.”
Red-hot Lucas Giolito starts the final game of the series against the Indians, which is a good thing.
As for Saturday’s starter, Ivan Nova, he wasn’t bad.
“I thought he threw the ball pretty good,” McCann said. “That mistake to [Leonys] Martin kind of puts a damper on the day, but seven innings and three earned [runs], he gave us a chance to win.”
With Cleveland clinging to a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning, Martin hit a two-run homer.
“I made that mistake in the last inning,” Nova said. “Fell behind [Martin], keep throwing that changeup. It was too hard. It stayed right in the middle, and he put a good swing on it.”