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Chicago White Sox, shut out for the 10th time this season, can’t complete a sweep of the Cleveland Guardians

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Andrew Vaughn knocked a double to right field with one out in the first inning Sunday against the Cleveland Guardians.

The Chicago White Sox were in business early, looking to get a jump on extending their season-high four-game winning streak. But Eloy Jiménez grounded out to shortstop Brayan Rocchio, and Bryan Ramos popped out to first baseman Josh Naylor.

The Sox came up empty in some early scoring chances on the way to being shut out for the 10th time this season, falling 7-0 in front of 15,529 at Guaranteed Rate Field. They’re on pace to be shut out 39 times this season; the major-league record is 33 by the 1908 St. Louis Cardinals.

“If we are able to score some points there early — we had momentum coming in, winning the first three games of the series — we get a chance to get ahead there, who knows what the momentum does,” manager Pedro Grifol said.

During their recent upswing, the Sox executed pitches, played clean defense and collected timely hits.

They came up short in all three categories Sunday.

Starter Michael Soroka surrendered two home runs during a three-run fourth for the Guardians. The Sox made two errors and had a passed ball while giving up three more runs in the sixth.

And they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, dropping the finale of the four-game series.

“We came out with some energy today,” Grifol said. “And then we had a couple of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on. We gave up those runs and then it seemed like we got a little flat.”

White Sox starter Michael Soroka pitches in the first inning against the Guardians on Saturday, May 12, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
White Sox starter Michael Soroka pitches in the first inning against the Guardians on Saturday, May 12, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

The Sox rotation entered Sunday with an 0.79 ERA in the previous four games. Soroka retired the first seven before Estevan Floria’s sinking liner got past center fielder Rafael Ortega for a triple with one out in the third. Rocchio followed with a sacrifice fly to left for the game’s first run.

Soroka surrendered a leadoff home run to Andrés Giménez in the fourth. And with one out in the inning, David Fry hit a two-run homer to give the Guardians a 4-0 lead.

“Doing them favors,” Soroka said of the fourth. “I kind of beat them all day with the stuff I wanted to be out there throwing. The second homer (to Fry) I can stomach a little more because I’m trying to get in the zone with a slider.

“The first one (to Giménez), the last thing a hitter wants to see after they foul one off their knee is a fastball inside. Threw a changeup right over the plate and his bat ran into it, so that has to change. Have to make better decisions in the moment. Just trust everything.”

Soroka allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk in 5 1/3 innings.

“It’s good when the other starters are going out there putting up good starts, and you want to follow,” Soroka said. “Today I thought I had the stuff to do it, just missed on a couple marks.”

Soroka issued a one-out walk in the sixth and exited. Reliever Tim Hill attempted to pick off José Ramírez but threw wildly to first for an error.

After a groundout and intentional walk, Hill got Will Brennan to hit a slow roller to second baseman Zach Remillard. Vaughn was charged with an error when he didn’t catch Remillard’s throw to first, and a run scored on the play.

The Guardians' David Fry scores on a passed ball during the sixth inning against the White Sox on Sunday, May 12, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field. (AP Photo/Melissa Tamez)
The Guardians’ David Fry scores on a passed ball during the sixth inning against the White Sox on Sunday, May 12, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field. (AP Photo/Melissa Tamez)

A passed ball followed, leading to another run. Floria added an RBI double.

It was a sloppy inning for a team that did not make any errors during its winning streak.

“We have great baseball players, great mindsets out on the field on the defensive side, so it’s part of the game,” catcher Korey Lee said of the miscues. “It’s nothing to blame. Obviously we want to make every single play that we can, and errors happen.”

While the Guardians capitalized on opportunities, the Sox squandered some of their chances.

In addition to missing out in the first, they had two on with no outs in the third and had runners on first and second with one out in the fourth and failed to take advantage. It’s the 20th time they’ve been held to two runs or fewer this season.

“Opportunities present themselves and sometimes you capitalize on it and sometimes you don’t,” Lee said.

While the Sox (12-29) didn’t complete the sweep, they took away some positives from winning three of four against the American League Central leaders.

“The fight’s where we knew we could be and where everything was in camp and what we told you guys we were going to look like,” Soroka said. “It’s been a lot more fun getting around here, and everybody has the feeling like we’re in it now.

“That was starting to get a little fleeting in the middle of April there. We fought hard to get that back and we’ve got to keep that going.”

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LaMond Pope , 2024-05-13 00:47:20

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