Early fireworks spark Chicago White Sox to elusive win over Indians

Updated 6/13/2018 12:08 AM
  • Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada celebrates his home run off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Adam Plutko during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Chicago.

    Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada celebrates his home run off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Adam Plutko during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Chicago.

The Cleveland Indians probably going to cruise to a first-place finish in the AL Central for the fourth straight season.

If everything goes right, it would not be a shock if the Indians played in the World Series for the second time in three years.

The Chicago White Sox are on track for their sixth straight losing season, and they last made the playoffs in 2008. One day in the near future, the Sox want to be in Cleveland's current position.

"I think we aspire to be, hopefully, a part of the best of the best," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I tell the players that all the time."

Dating back to last season, Cleveland won 10 of 11 against the White Sox before falling 5-1 Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez set the tone for the Sox with back-to-back home runs leading off the first inning. Matt Davidson added RBI doubles in the first and fifth.

After giving up 7 runs in 6 innings in his start last Thursday at Minnesota, White Sox right-hander James Shields held the Indians to 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings.

Wins have been tough to come by for the Sox (23-42) this season, against Cleveland and everybody else. After Tuesday's victory, there was a strobe light in the Sox's clubhouse and smoke from a fog machine.

"We're trying to celebrate our wins," Shields said. "Enjoy the moment instead of looking too far ahead or dwelling on what we've done. We hope to continue the roll and try to win the series, beat the No. 1 team in our division."

Eye on Moncada:

Yoan Moncada took another called third strike in Tuesday night's win against Cleveland, but the pitch from Indians reliever Zach McAllister was over the plate.

Monday night, Moncada was 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts, 2 looking. Afterward, White Sox manager Rick Renteria went to bat for his young second baseman.

"He has as good an eye as anyone in the game of baseball," Renteria said. "Sometimes he gets some pitches called on him that should not be called -- flat-out, straight-up. It's a tough job that those umpires have to do every day, but this poor kid, honestly, I think he gets the short end of the stick a lot of times."

As he gains experience, Moncada undoubtedly will get a better feel for what to expect from home-plate umpires. In the meantime, the 23-year-old switch hitter probably is going to have to swing the bat more.

"I think I will have to make some adjustments because I'm getting too many calls that for me are not strikes," Moncada said through a translator. "They are calling those pitches strikes and I will have to make some adjustments in order to take advantage of the situation or put the ball in play."

Moncada came out swinging Tuesday, leading off the first inning with a home run off Indians starter Adam Plutko.

"I think that everybody knows that my offense right now is not as good as it can be," Moncada said. "But I'm working hard. I'm doing all the things that I can possibly do to improve my offense and get the results done."

Eye on Charlotte:

Out since April 23 with a strained right hamstring, right fielder Avisail Garcia played in his first rehab game with Class AAA Charlotte on Tuesday night and was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Garcia, an all-star with the White Sox last season, batted second and was the Knights' designated hitter.

Emerging pitching prospect Jordan Stephens started for Charlotte and had 7 strikeouts over 6 scoreless innings.

Earlier Tuesday, starting pitcher Spencer Adams was promoted to Charlotte from AA Birmingham.

The White Sox's second-round pick in the 2014 draft out of White County High School in Cleveland, Georgia, Adams was 3-6 with a 4.59 ERA in 13 starts with the Barons. Over his last 3 starts, the 22-year-old righty allowed 1 earned run in 21 innings.

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