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White Sox's bullpen falls short again in loss to Indians

Published: Sunday, July 13, 2014 8:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, July 13, 2014 11:42 p.m. CDT
(AP photo)
White Sox manager Robin Ventura (23) visits starting pitcher John Danks (50) and catcher Tyler Flowers on the mound in the fourth inning Sunday against the Indians in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND – The White Sox staggered into the All-Star break with a tough loss.

Javy Guerra gave up a two-run homer in the eighth to Yan Gomes that erased the Sox's comeback in the top of the inning, sending the Sox to a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

After winning five of six, the Sox have dropped four of their past five and are 45-51 on the season.

It's easy to see why manager Robin Ventura wants to see more consistency from his team after the break.

"I'd like it to be better," Ventura said of the record. "We've had spurts where we play well, we've had spurts where we didn't. You wish you were in a better spot but you come back and try to clean that stuff up."

Gomes drove in all three Cleveland runs. His home run to right off Guerra (0-2) came after the White Sox scored two runs in the top of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.

Nick Swisher led off with a single before Gomes, who also had an RBI single in the second, hit a 1-1 pitch into Chicago's bullpen.

"A slider, came out, wasn't a very good one," Guerra said. "(Gomes) did what he was supposed to."

Trevor Bauer, whose 10 strikeouts were a career high, blanked the Sox for 6 2/3 innings, but the Sox scored two runs off Bryan Shaw (4-1) to take the lead.

Conor Gillaspie singled with one out, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Gordon Beckham's single up the middle. After a groundout, Leury Garcia sent a roller to the right side. Second baseman Jason Kipnis tried to make a backhand stop near the bag, but the ball went under his glove and rolled into center field, allowing Beckham to score.

Sox starter John Danks gave up only one run and escaped trouble often in his seven innings, as the Indians loaded the bases twice on the left-hander.

In the second, Danks struck out the last two batters after a Carlos Sanchez error loaded the bases. He got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out to end the sixth.

After an uneven first half of the season, Danks sees a promising team that needs to learn to win consistently.

"We know what we need to do," Danks said. "We need to go out there and play better baseball all the way around. This is a good group of guys that plays hard, plenty talented, but just gotta put it all together."

Sanchez made his major league debut for the Sox, called up from Triple-A Charlotte after the team sent down Andre Rienzo following Saturday's 6-2 win.

Sanchez was starting in place of All-Star shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who was out of the lineup with a stiff back. Ramirez is expected to play in Tuesday's All-Star game in Minneapolis.

Ramirez is batting .282 with eight homers, 41 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 95 games.

The Sox offense wasn't without chances against Bauer. He allowed eight hits and had at least one base runner in every inning, but pitched out of trouble each time. The right-hander was pulled after All-Star Jose Abreu's two-out single in the seventh, but Marc Rzepczynski retired Adam Dunn.

Bauer's first career outing against the Sox last season didn't work out well. He allowed five runs while recording only two outs, but the Indians rallied for a 19-10 victory.

Bauer more than made up for that Sunday. His biggest jam came in the sixth. Dayan Viciedo singled and Gillaspie walked to start the inning, but Beckham struck out. Gomes quickly fielded Tyler Flowers' tapper in front of the plate and his throw to third forced Viciedo. Bauer ended the inning by striking out Garcia.

The Sox had three hits in the second, but didn't score. Gillaspie led off with a single, but was doubled off first when Mike Aviles made a strong throw from foul territory in left field after catching Beckham's fly ball.

Garcia followed with a single, but Alejandro De Aza flied out.

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