CHICAGO (AP) — The White Sox are starting to look for small victories anywhere they can get them.
During a 3-2 home loss to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night, success meant an incremental improvement by starter John Danks.
“I’d like to go deeper in the game, but (I) kept us in the ball game,” Danks said. “That’s the No. 1 rule in my job description, I guess. We’ll call it a success. It’s not as good as I’d like.”
Danks (9-9) pitched around trouble early, giving up two runs on five hits over six innings with two walks and five strikeouts, but still remained winless since July 25.
Cleveland jumped in front when Michael Bourn hit the first of his two triples on the first pitch of the game and scored on Jose Ramirez’s grounder. Alejandro De Aza charged the ball on Bourn’s hit, and Bourn took third when the ball caromed off the wall in left.
“(De Aza) was trying to cut it off, knowing that Bourn can run,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “Once you get over there, anything can happen.”
De Aza made up for the misplay in the second when he made a leaping catch above the left-field fence to rob Zach Walters of a two-run homer.
“Everything feels good,” said Danks, who is 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA in his last six starts. “It’s just a matter of executing pitches.”
Carlos Carrasco (6-4) struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings while holding the White Sox to one run and four hits, improving to 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA in four starts since he returned to the rotation.
“He came out and established his fastball,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “He kept it especially when he saw them coming and reached back for more.”
White Sox rookie Jose Abreu hit a run-scoring single in the third, tying it at 1. It ran his total for the season to 97 RBIs, tied with Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton for the major league lead.
Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley each singled in a run for the Indians, who have won four of five and 11 of 16 overall to remain in the hunt for an AL wild card.
“The thing is, try not to look too far ahead,” Bourn said.
Alexei Ramirez had two hits for the White Sox.
Cleveland grabbed the lead for good in the sixth. Jose Ramirez led off with a single and stole second. He then advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Kipnis’ base hit, giving the Indians a 2-1 advantage.
Brantley added an RBI single in the seventh.
Chicago closed to 3-2 on Adam Dunn’s RBI single in the eighth against Cody Allen, who struck out the next four batters for his 18th save in 19 attempts.
Indians: C Yan Gomes is on pace to return from the seven-day concussion list before the series opener in Kansas City on Friday. As a precautionary measure, Gomes will take part in the pregame workout before the roster move is completed.
White Sox: OF Moises Sierra continues to work his way back from a strained left oblique. He was 4 for 12 in the first three games of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.
White Sox: In a matchup of right-handers, Scott Carroll (5-8, 5.05 ERA) will oppose the Tigers’ Justin Verlander (11-11, 4.82 ERA) on Friday.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (4-6, 4.52 ERA) will take the mound against Royals LHP Jason Vargas (10-6, 3.17 ERA) in the opener of the three-game set on Friday.
BIG LEAGUE DEBUT
Ventura said RHP Chris Bassitt will make his major league debut Saturday as the club’s 26th man Saturday in Game 2 of the White Sox’s doubleheader against Detroit. Bassitt, Chicago’s 16th-round draft pick in 2011, is 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA in six starts with Double-A Birmingham this season.