White Sox face Indians, hope to end frustrating trend

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The Chicago White Sox have attempted to move above .500 on seven different occasions this season. Seven times they’ve failed.

The White Sox will aim to put an end to that unfortunate string on Wednesday when they conclude their abbreviated two-game series against the host Cleveland Indians.

Jose Abreu belted a pair of homers and drove in three runs in Chicago’s 8-5 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday. The reigning American League Most Valuable Player is 6-for-19 with five RBIs and four runs scored in his past five games after batting just .184 in his first 13 contests of the season. He got the nod at designated hitter instead of his usual first base in the game.

“The $64,000 question is whether he’s going to DH (on Wednesday),” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “… I’m superstitious, I’d want to DH. But we’ll see what he says.”

Abreu has struggled in his career against Wednesday’s starter Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.18 ERA). He is just 2-for-14 with three strikeouts versus the 25-year-old right-hander.

Tim Anderson, who launched a solo homer on Tuesday, has enjoyed a measure of success against Civale. He is 5-for-14 with a homer while Yoan Moncada is 6-for-14 versus the hurler.

Luis Robert, who is 3-for-9 in his career versus Civale, has 12 hits in his past 27 at-bats overall.

“He learns every day, comes to the ballpark trying to learn and tries to get better,” White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton said of Robert, per NBC Sports Chicago. “With all his attributes and skills, he reminds me a lot of (Washington Nationals star) Juan Soto. Juan was very talented, but every day tries to pick something up and be better. Luis is no different.

“He comes to play and learn every day and, with his skills and ability to pick things up quickly, will make a very good player in this league for a long time. Both of those guys have parallel attributes and not just on the field.”

As for Civale, he won his third straight start after allowing one run on five hits in six innings of a 4-2 victory over the White Sox last Thursday. He has a 4-2 record with a 3.51 ERA in six career starts against Chicago.

The White Sox did not name a starter for Wednesday’s game after right-hander Lance Lynn (strained right trapezius) was placed on the injured list. A bullpen game is plausible ahead of the team’s off day on Thursday.

Cleveland’s Jordan Luplow is making a case for more playing time after belting his team-leading fifth homer on Tuesday and third in his past four games.

Josh Naylor, however, was part of a couple of miscues he’d rather forget. He had a costly error in the Indians’ 3-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds in 10 innings on Saturday before running through a stop sign to end the fourth inning on Tuesday.

“When things come up, just to talk to guys so they understand,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “People are going to make mistakes. The hope is that you don’t make the same one again.”

–Field Level Media

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