CLEVELAND -- A long, rough week for the White Sox ended in similar fashion on Sunday afternoon.
The Cleveland Indians scored three times apiece against John Danks and Zach Putnam to send the White Sox to a 6-3 defeat and clinch a series victory at Progressive Field. Lonnie Chisenhall had a two-run homer and the Indians scored three in the second against Danks, who has lost 13 of 20 decisions. Jose Abreu singled in two runs for the White Sox, who lost for the fifth time in eight tries and open a four-game series with a doubleheader in Detroit on Monday.
“They made (Danks) work,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He gave us an opportunity. He just ran out of innings and pitches.”
Cleveland didn’t get to Danks in the first inning, but he still required 29 pitches to work around a single and a walk.
Danks wasn’t as fortunate in the second inning as Yan Gomes singled ahead of Chisenhall’s two-run blast to right. Abraham Almonte followed with a double and later scored on an RBI single by Francisco Lindor.
Danks threw 56 pitches through his first two innings and needed 110 pitches to complete five innings. With Monday’s doubleheader looming, the White Sox hoped Danks --- who allowed three earned runs and seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts --- could go deeper into the start.
“They weren’t as aggressive early in the at-bat as they had been the last couple of days and I wasn’t able to force them to start swinging,” Danks said.
“You’ve got to tip your hat, they did a good job of fouling off some good pitches and waiting me out and before you know it the pitch count is up there and we’re in the bullpen,” he added. “I needed to go a lot deeper than this.”
Cleveland gave itself an extra cushion with three doubles in the sixth inning off Putnam. Chisenhall doubled in a run, Lindor had a sac fly and Michael Brantley doubled in another to make it 6-0.
“We tried to climb back into it and then let it slip away a bit,” Ventura said.
The contest ended what has been one of the team’s worst weeks of the season.
They were routed twice, losing by 11 runs on both Tuesday and Friday night. They won on Monday but only after they blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning and topped Oakland in 14.
The White Sox lost Thursday’s game in heartbreaking fashion when David Robertson gave up a three-run homer in the ninth inning. And even Saturday’s victory included another near-blown save by Robertson, who picked off the tying run to end it.
Still, the White Sox made a game of it after Indians starter Josh Tomlin departed.
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Abreu’s blooper to shallow right off Zach McAllister scored two in the seventh inning. Alexei Ramirez had an RBI ground out off Bryan Shaw in the eighth to score Trayce Thompson, who had earlier doubled.
The White Sox had earlier chances but never broke through against Tomlin, who also beat them on Sept. 9. Unlike that contest, where the White Sox knocked Tomlin out with a three-run rally in the sixth inning, they didn’t get the big hit on Sunday. Tomlin hit and walked a batter in the second inning but got Tyler Flowers to fly out. He worked around a double and a walk in the fifth as he struck out the side.
“He has been very effective in locating the pitches where he wants to put it,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “For me that’s been the key for him. He’s been very accurate, throwing his pitches in the right spot and where he wants to put it.”