CHICAGO – They won three in a row against a Royals team that lost 104 games last season.
And the White Sox now are playing the Indians, who look like a shell of the team that finished first in the American League Central the past three years.
Don’t look for any apologies from the Sox, who haven’t had a winning record since 2012 and haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2008.
Something good finally is starting to happen on the South Side, and it continued Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“We’re playing pretty good baseball,” Yonder Alonso said after the Sox beat Cleveland, 6-1, Friday night in front of a fired-up crowd of 21,652 at Guaranteed Rate Field. “A lot of credit to the fans. They showed up, and they’re behind us every single day, and they’re witnessing a team that’s got a lot of fight and understanding what’s going on right now. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”
While winning their fifth straight game – something they haven’t done since April 2017 – the Sox (28-29) pulled into a second-place tie with the Indians in the AL Central.
“We’re playing really good,” starting pitcher Dylan Covey said. “We’re having a lot of fun, building off each other. It’s a ton of fun right now.”
The Sox took advantage of four Cleveland errors while scoring four unearned runs off flustered starter Trevor Bauer.
“A ball in play sometimes can wreak havoc,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Fortunately for us, we were able to take advantage of it. I know we don’t like being on the other side of that coin ourselves. Fortunately for us, it worked out.”
There was some bad blood in the game, as well.
After stealing third base Thursday night with the Sox leading the Indians, 8-3, in the eighth inning, Yolmer Sanchez was an obvious target in the second game of the series.
Bauer drilled Sanchez in the back his first time up, and Covey threw behind Roberto Perez two innings later. Both benches were warned after that.
Sanchez responded with a hit off Bauer in his next at-bat and an RBI single after that.
Covey (1-4) got his first win since August after allowing one run in six innings.
Castillo update: On the seven-day concussion list, Sox catcher Welington Castillo is expected to be activated Saturday.
Castillo is feeling better and was able to catch a bullpen session Friday.
Seby Zavala was brought up from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Castillo, and he struck out in each of his first six at-bats before singling against the Indians on Friday night. It was Zavala’s first major league hit.
After the Sox’s 6-1 win, Zavala was sent back to Charlotte.