Although the Cleveland Indians sport a majors-best four shutouts this season, they have found themselves on the wrong end of two blankings by the Chicago White Sox.
The Indians aim to solve the White Sox on Saturday afternoon when the American League Central rivals continue their three-game series in Chicago.
Cleveland lost 4-0 to Chicago on July 29, and mustered just four singles — two by Franmil Reyes — with 10 runners left on base in a 2-0 loss on Friday. The most-recent loss, however, came on the heels of the Indians’ 13-0 shellacking of Cincinnati on Thursday.
“One night is a big difference,” Cleveland’s acting manager Sandy Alomar Jr. said. “(Thursday) was everyone hitting, and (Friday) was a tough night. Hope we can bounce back (Saturday) and get back on track.”
The Indians continue to be patient at the plate, however. They drew eight walks on Friday, marking their fourth consecutive contest in which they have walked at least six times.
“The guys put in better at-bats, and the more you go putting together better at-bats, you’re going to get better results,” Alomar said. “Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t that night.”
Cesar Hernandez carries a six-game hitting streak into Saturday’s contest against White Sox right-hander Matt Foster (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who will make his first career start.
Foster, who has made three relief appearances this season, struck out two in two-thirds of an inning against Milwaukee on Thursday. The 25-year-old will be receiving his first glimpse at the Indians in his young career.
While Chicago appears poised to use a bullpen game after left-hander Carlos Rodon went on the injured list with a sore throwing shoulder, the Indians will turn to righty Zach Plesac (0-1, 1.80) to make his third start of the season, and the second against the White Sox.
Plesac answered a hard-luck, eight-inning no-decision against Chicago on July 29 with another strong outing, albeit in a 3-2 loss at Cincinnati on Monday. The 25-year-old allowed three runs on four hits — including a pair of homers — in seven innings versus the Reds.
Plesac dropped his other career starts to the White Sox, both in 2019. He surrendered seven runs on 12 hits in 12 innings, with three walks and 11 strikeouts.
Rookie Luis Robert has hit safely in all four contests versus the Indians and 12 of 14 this season. He also scored the game’s first run on Friday on Jose Abreu’s double play in the first inning.
Chicago manager Rick Renteria believes Yasmani Grandal (left foot irritation) and Nomar Mazara (foot) will play Saturday after missing the series opener.
“Expect them both to be back going (Saturday),” Renteria said.
Unfortunately for the White Sox, reliever Aaron Bummer exited Friday’s game in the seventh inning with left bicep soreness. He will be re-evaluated Saturday, Renteria said.
“Hopefully there’s no extended period of time. But we’re going to be careful with (him),” Renteria said.
–Field Level Media