CLEVELAND — He enjoys pitching at Progressive Field anyway, but Derek Holland had extra motivation on Wednesday night.
An Ohio product, Holland dedicated Wednesday's effort to the memory of his grandmother, Pat Henderson, who passed away during spring training. Holland spun six scoreless innings and his bullpen did the rest as the White Sox held off the Cleveland Indians 2-1 in front of 15,628 at Progressive Field.
Holland (one hit allowed) and three White Sox relievers combined on a three-hitter to lower the staff earned-run average to 2.54. Matt Davidson's two-run single in the second inning provided the White Sox with their only offense.
"This is where I'm home," Holland said. "To be honest, this game meant a lot more to me. Last time before my grandma passed away, this is where she got to see me pitch."
Holland grew up about 2 1/2 hours away from Cleveland in Newark, Ohio. He's pitched extremely well in his five games at Progressive Field, including a shutout in 2011. Holland lowered his ERA to 1.02 at Progressive Field, the lowest all-time of any pitcher with at least 30 innings.
Wednesday was no different as Holland started the game with five no-hit innings. But the left-hander said all credit belonged to a defense that tracked down six-hard hit balls by Indians hitters.
Even so, Holland impressively escaped jams in the second and sixth innings despite two men reaching in each frame. He issued one of his four walks in each inning and had men on first and second base with one or fewer outs in both innings.
But Holland struck out Brandon Guyer and Yandy Diaz in the second and induced an inning-ending grounder out of Roberto Perez. After Francisco Lindor broke up the no-hitter in the sixth with a double and Edwin Encarnacion walked with one out, Holland retired Jose Ramirez and Guyer to escape again.
"He has worked out of a couple of situations," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's had some walks, but he continues to try to pound the zone, and he's been able to keep them off-balance. His secondary pitches have been very good. He has been spotting his fastball very well.
"He has been around. He's pretty composed and poised out there in every situation. It has been nice to see."
The bullpen also showed its poise in a building where Cleveland recently has shown a penchant for late-innings magic against the White Sox. The Indians are 25-13 against the White Sox in Cleveland since 2013 with nine walkoff victories, including Tuesday's.
But Anthony Swarzak, Nate Jones and David Robertson ensured there'd be no comeback on Wednesday. Swarzak pumped 95-mph fastballs into the zone and struck out two in a scoreless inning in his 2017 debut. Jones then nearly yielded a game-tying homer to Lindor, who doubled high off the left-field fence. Jones allowed a run but also stranded the tying runner at third when he struck out Encarnacion and got Ramirez to ground out weakly.
Robertson then struck out two batters in the ninth inning to record his first save. Afterward he praised Holland for an effort that lowered his ERA to 1.50. The White Sox pitching staff has a 2.54 ERA.
"He was amazing tonight," Robertson said. "Defense played great behind him. He looked very calm and relaxed. Threw a lot of pitches that were close calls and could have gone either way. He filled up the zone and did what a starter is supposed to do."
Holland said family members from both sides attended Wednesday's game. He also wrote "G-R-A-N-N-Y" on the mound before his first pitch.
"Good to see the family out there," Holland said. "It meant a lot to me. It was a great game."