After recording their first series sweep, the Chicago White Sox look to carry the momentum into Monday’s series opener against the host Cleveland Guardians.
The White Sox find themselves 10 games under .500 after a dismal start, but they relieved some of the pressure surrounding the team during a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals over the weekend.
Luis Robert Jr. homered in Sunday’s 5-2 victory, while Romy Gonzalez contributed three hits, including a two-run triple. Chicago held the Royals to a total of three runs in the series.
“Everyone knows we’ve got an extremely talented team,” Gonzalez said. “We’re just putting it together. Playing great defense, situational hitting, pitching well, bullpen’s doing great. When we’re clicking, we’re definitely a dangerous team.”
Chicago is beginning a three-game series against Cleveland, which is looking to bounce back after being on the other end of a sweep at the hands of the New York Mets over the weekend. The Guardians lost all three games — including both ends of a Sunday doubleheader — by one run.
“It’s tough, especially those one-run games,” Guardians center fielder Myles Straw said. “Those are the ones you really want to win. Especially because we had the lead in all of them. It’s baseball. It’s a little frustrating, but we have to keep pushing.”
Cleveland will send right-hander Hunter Gaddis (0-1, 6.86 ERA) to the mound in the series opener in place of Peyton Battenfield, who landed on the injured list with a sore right shoulder.
Gaddis, 25, will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus, where he is 1-2 with a 5.12 ERA in four starts. The rookie began the season in the majors, but allowed a total of 15 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings in his first four starts.
Gaddis made a start against the White Sox last September, surrendering seven runs on eight hits and one walk in four innings. Gavin Sheets, Andrew Vaughn, Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal and Elvis Andrus all homered against him.
Chicago was expected to start Mike Clevinger, but the veteran hurler was placed on the 15-day injured list with right wrist inflammation on Sunday. The White Sox instead are expected to turn to right-hander Jesse Scholtens (0-1, 3.00), who will be recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
Scholtens, 29, appeared in two games with the White Sox in early April, allowing two runs (one earned) in three innings. He is 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA in seven starts with Charlotte this season.
Chicago received a boost in Sunday’s win over Kansas City from right fielder Clint Frazier, who went 1-for-3 and scored a run while batting sixth. Chicago selected Frazier’s contract from Charlotte before Sunday’s contest.
“Frazier is a good addition to our ballclub,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He brings a lot of energy. He played good in the outfield, his at-bats were good, his hands are quick, and he’s got a live body. I’m glad he’s here. I’m looking forward to watching him play and just become a part of us.”
Chicago won two of three against Cleveland last week and will need to exercise caution around third baseman Jose Ramirez, who homered in both games Sunday against the Mets.
Despite Ramirez’s efforts, the Guardians fell a season-high six games below .500 with 11 losses in their last 17 games.
“It’s frustrating as a team,” Cleveland reliever Trevor Stephan said. “Seems like the offense gets going and the bullpen has a tough game. But it’s a long season. We’re fighting, we’re going to be all right.”
–Field Level Media