CLEVELAND — For the second time in two starts James Shields gave the White Sox a chance to win. The White Sox offense hasn't done much of the same.
In what could be yet another sign of a long summer ahead, the White Sox struggled on Tuesday to generate offense for the fourth time in six games. The team's production woes left the pitching staff vulnerable and the Cleveland Indians finally finished off a day full of celebrations with yet another round of partying.
Michael Brantley broke a stalemate with a two-out, game-winning RBI double off reliever Tommy Kahnle to send the White Sox to a 2-1 loss in 10 innings in front of 35,002 at Progressive Field. The defending American League champions had far more opportunities than the White Sox, who were limited to six base runners and struck out 12 times.
"As hitters we've got to bear down and find a way to win that game," said third baseman Todd Frazier, who accounted for his team's only run with a fifth-inning solo homer. "It's frustrating. Our pitchers do their job giving up one run. Our hitters have got to do a better job."
Cleveland's triumph off Kahnle ended a day of missed chances for both teams. Brantley followed a two-out walk of Francisco Lindor by just keeping fair a 3-2 pitch. He lined it over the head of Frazier and the ball tailed into foul territory, kicking off the wall, which gave the speedy Lindor plenty of time to score all the way from first.
Prior to Brantley's hit, Shields and a slew of Sox relievers danced in and out of trouble and did their best to dampen a bright day for Cleveland. The Indians raised their 2016 AL pennant banner before the game and were given rings. Twice White Sox relievers pitched out of bases-loaded jams against Edwin Encarnacion.
"I thought Kahnle was pounding the strike zone and going after those guys," manager Rick Renteria said. "Unfortunately, we fell short. We had a couple opportunities to drive in some runs and give us the lead. They did also. We ended up minimizing damage quite a bit throughout the ballgame, but today they came out on top."
Shields has twice bounced back after allowing an early home run. He struck out two batters each in the first and second innings. After he issued a leadoff walk to Jose Ramirez to start the second, Shields retired 12 straight.
While Lindor -- whose first-inning solo homer gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead -- lined out to end the third, Shields induced a bunch of weak contact. Again relying on a four-pitch mix, the right-hander pitched well into the sixth inning and limited the Indians to a run. Shields also walked one in 5 1/3 innings, down from five last time out.
He gave way to the bullpen in the sixth inning and Zach Putnam induced a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play off the bat of Encarnacion on a 3-2 pitch. Two innings later, Encarnacion bounced into another inning-ending double play after Nate Jones walked the bases loaded with one out.
But the White Sox couldn't take advantage of the effort of a pitching staff that has produced a 2.80 ERA in its first six games.
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco was dominant and kept a slow-to-start White Sox offense under wraps. With strikes on 61 of 95 pitches, Carrasco struck out seven batters in seven innings of one-run ball. Carrasco allowed four hits and walked none, retiring 12 of the first 13 he faced.
Frazier ended Carrasco's shutout bid in the fifth with a laser of a solo homer to left to tie it at 1. But Carrasco retired eight of the last 10 he faced to hand it off to the bullpen.
The White Sox nearly scored off Andrew Miller in the eighth. Geovany Soto singled and Matt Davidson doubled off the right-field wall. But Tyler Saladino's bid for a line drive go-ahead single was snared by a diving Yandy Diaz at third base and Miller struck out Tim Anderson.
"We have had a chance to win every night," Shields said of a pitching staff that boasts a 2.80 ERA through six games. "Our starters are doing a great job of giving us a chance to win every night, and we just have to put it together. That's it, bottom line. Unfortunately, we've been on the losing side more than the winning side, so we'll see what happens."