White Sox shake off slow start, beat Indians 4-3

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Monday, April 12, 2021, in Chicago.

    Chicago White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Monday, April 12, 2021, in Chicago.

 
 
Updated 4/12/2021 10:40 PM

When it comes to uninspired starts to the season for the White Sox, you don't have to flip back too far in the history books to find the latest stumble.

It happened last year, when the Sox lost four of their first five games and everyone wanted manager Rick Renteria gone.

 

The White Sox bounced back nicely and were seemingly sitting pretty on Sept. 17 of the short season after beating the Twins to clinch a playoff berth while improving their record to 33-17.

It all went down from there, with 8 losses in the last 10 games followed by 2 more in an abbreviated stay in the postseason.

It was the flat finish that cost Renteria his job, and new Sox manager Tony La Russa returned to the dugout to guide a team with even higher expectations.

Much like 2020, the White Sox have not looked too hot early.

They were 4-5 after blowing another late lead Sunday and falling to the Royals. The sluggish start featured a lack of clutch hitting, some porous defense, zero quality starts outside of Lance Lynn's complete game gem in Thursday's home opener and some shaky relief pitching.

The Sox didn't panic early last year, and there was much more pressure with only 60 games on the schedule.

They are not losing too much sleep this season, either.

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"It's just baseball and I think we're doing the things we are supposed to be doing," reigning MVP Jose Abreu said through a translator. "Of course, maybe the results aren't there yet, but it's a long season and we need to keep working and clean up a few things."

The White Sox got back to .500 with a 4-3 win over the Indians on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

With the game tied at 3 in the ninth inning, Yermin Mercedes singled with one out and Yasmani Grandal walked. Nick Williams followed with a groundball to first baseman Yu Chang, who made a throwing error to second base that allowed pinch runner Nick Madrigal to score the winning run.

Dallas Keuchel started in place of Carlos Rodon, who was a late scratch with an upset stomach. He pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.

The White Sox have been pressing a bit, probably because they were a popular preseason pick to make a World Series push.

"We set lofty goals for ourselves in spring training, seeing the group that is in here, and unfortunately didn't get off to the start we needed," closer Liam Hendriks said. "When that happens you start to over-analyze, put way too much pressure on yourself, try to live up to what everyone said and when it doesn't happen it just snowballs. So right now we need to go back to square one as a group and take it game by game.

"We're not going to win the World Series now. Let's stop talking about it. Let's just figure out how to win, let's figure out how to win April, figure out how to win this series and let's go to war."

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