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A day after an 8-4 loss in which they only made the Guardians throw 115 pitches over nine innings, the White Sox underdid themselves.
In the front end of a doubleheader, Shane Bieber coasted to a complete game on just 95 pitches. Davis Martin did his job by getting through six innings, but a three-run third was all it took to put this game out of reach.
And really, Martin’s one bad inning was more attributable to the defense behind him. It opened with Yoán Moncada playing matador to an Austin Hedges chopper. The Guardians took advantage of the extra out when Amed Rosario dropped an RBI double to the left-center gap with two down. It was an unusual line drive, with a bit of slice that initially carried the ball toward center, only to plop down closer to Jiménez than he expected. A good left fielder might’ve caught it, and an average one might’ve limited Rosario to a single.
Instead, Rosario took second, then came around to score on Jose Ramírez’s single through the right side for a 3-0 lead. Two innings later, Rosario added an RBI double with a legit drive to right center in the fifth for the fourth and final run.
The White Sox could only erase that one run in the seventh, when Bieber randomly plunked Andrew Vaughn with one out. Two singles past Ramírez drove him in before a Gavin Sheets double play limited the damage. Even then, five White Sox batters came to the plate and consumed just 16 pitches, and Bieber allowed just one other hit and no other baserunners on his own accord over his nine innings (the Guardians did commit one error).
Outside of that one inning, the White Sox played better defense themselves, or maybe it was Josh Harrison. He twice robbed Hedges of singles with fine plays on the other side of second base, and teamed up with Martin for an inning-ending pickoff of Andrew Gimenez. Martin started his own double play in the second inning after absorbing a line drive off his right shoulder.
The fifth inning featured the only other truly confounding moment, as Tony La Russa called for his second intentional walk of the season with the pitcher ahead. After Rosario’s second RBI double, Martin started Ramírez off with a strike before La Russa called for the free pass. Fortunately, Martin struck out Franmil Reyes to justify the late decision, which was supposedly because Martin didn’t show an ability to pitch around Ramírez safely.