CLEVELAND (AP) — After starting this season 23-10, the Chicago White Sox are heading in the opposite direction.
Swept on Sunday by the Cleveland Indians on Jose Ramirez’s bad-hop, walk-off single in the 10th inning against closer David Robertson (0-1), the White Sox have lost 26 of their last 36 games.
The 3-2 loss marked the second last at-bat win of the series for Cleveland and continued a troubling slide for the White Sox, who were one of baseball’s biggest surprises in the first two months.
“Got the contact we needed, ball just took a weird hop and a found hole and that was it,” Robertson said. “It’s like we just can’t get any good luck to go our way.”
With two outs and the bases loaded in the 10th, Ramirez hit a sharp grounder to Jose Abreu at first base. Abreu had a tough time reading the ball and slid to the dirt as the ball bounced past him, allowing Rajai Davis to score the winning run. Abreu thought about charging the chopper before the bounce, but felt he had only one option.
“The bounce was farther than what I was expecting,” Abreu said, through a translator. “My only alternative was to try to dive back and to see if I could catch the ball. It was a very tough play.”
Davis started the 10th with a double off Robertson and moved to third on a sacrifice by Jason Kipnis. Robertson loaded the bases with back-to-back intentional walks to Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli, bringing up Carlos Santana, who hit a walk-off home run on Friday night.
Santana fouled out to third baseman Todd Frazier when the White Sox went with a five-man infield, before Ramirez hit the game-winning single.
“We were trying everything,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s a tough one to lose.”
Davis finished the day 4 for 5 with two singles, two doubles and two runs. Three of those hits came off White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, who allowed two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The White Sox couldn’t do much damage off of Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, who made his fourth start since coming off the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
Chicago finished with two runs and five hits off of Carrasco, one of which was a solo home run by Melky Cabrera in the fourth inning.
Chicago’s other run came in the first inning, when Tim Anderson started the game with a double, took third on a sacrifice and scored on Abreu’s double to center.
Right-hander James Shields had another rocky outing Saturday, allowing eight runs in 1 2/3 innings. He’s 0-2 in three starts for Chicago, giving up 21 earned runs on 24 hits and nine walks in 8 2/3 innings.
Ventura attributes a lack of location as Shields’ biggest problem.
“You never really see a guy that gets behind (in the count) that’s been successful consistently,” Ventura said. “That’s going to be at the heart of it, just to be able to get ahead and locate. You’re still behind, you’re still having to throw something maybe a little bit more on the heart of the plate so you don’t miss and that’ll always come back to get you.”
White Sox: Cabrera was removed in the fourth inning Saturday after attempting a diving catch. X-rays on the wrist were negative.
White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-2) starts the opener of a four-game series Monday in Boston. He’ll be making his eighth start of the season.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin goes for his ninth win of the season in the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay. He’s 8-1 in 12 starts. Tomlin is 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA in five career starts against the Rays.
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