Jeff Samardzija has never allowed more home runs in a season than he has in 2015.
The two he yielded in the sixth inning on Wednesday night put the White Sox in a hole from which they never recovered. Samardzija allowed four runs and the White Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians, 6-4, despite three solo home runs of their own.
Trayce Thompson, who later committed a costly, two-run error, Tyler Saladino and Jose Abreu all homered in the loss.
“If you’re going to miss location it’s hard to keep it in the yard,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s been tough for him in the last couple, being able to keep that in the yard and limit things. We had a couple solos there. They count, too. If you have a lead you can play with those, but if you don’t have the lead those solos cost you.”
Samardzija’s night got off to a poor start when Francisco Lindor tripled to deep center with one out in the first inning. Michael Brantley grounded out to Abreu, who fielded the ball cleanly but briefly hesitated and had to settle for the out at first instead of throwing home.
Though the White Sox tied it in the second on Thompson’s solo homer, Samardzija gave the lead right back as Roberto Perez and Jason Kipnis both doubled the opposite way with each landing just inside the foul line.
After a quiet fourth, Cleveland’s extra-hit parade continued against Samardzija as Jose Ramirez started the fifth inning with a solo homer to make it a 3-1 game. Two outs later, Lindor homered to put the Indians ahead by three. The two round-trippers were the 25th and 26th allowed this season by Samardzija, surpassing the 25 he allowed with the Cubs in 2013.
Samardzija settled in from there but the damage was done. He allowed seven hits (six went for extra bases) and four runs with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
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Since Aug. 1, Samardzija is 1-7 with a 7.91 ERA, having allowed 11 homers in 46 2/3 innings.
“I thought I made some big pitches and had some nice easy innings and just got a little snake bit there with a couple of those homers that put us down one too many runs,” Samardzija said. “Otherwise it would have been a different game there.”
The White Sox offense didn’t have much success against Josh Tomlin until it was too late.
Thompson -- who singled in a run in the ninth -- blasted a game-tying solo homer in the second inning. Saladino and Abreu had back-to-back homers in the sixth to cut the deficit to 4-3.
But Thompson overran a one-out Chris Johnson single in the sixth inning with his error leading to two runs.
“I just had my mind focused too much on the runner,” Thompson said. “And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to catch the ball first. It happens. It’s going to happen again, I’m sure in my career -- its just terrible timing. We had a little momentum on our side with the home runs and stuff. It’s just a bad play and I have to move on, and have confidence in myself and stay aggressive out there. It’s going to happen again, so I just gotta move on.”