CHICAGO — Jose Abreu continued his torrid streak with a home run and single and Carlos Sanchez drove in the winning run in the ninth inning in the Chicago White Sox’s 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
The White Sox took three of four games in the series to conclude a 6-4 homestead against three playoff hopefuls. The first-place Indians remained six games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
After Omar Narvaez led off the ninth with a single off Bryan Shaw (2-5), pinch-runner Leury Garcia stole second while Avisail Garcia struck out. Sanchez followed with a bloop single to right-center.
David Robertson (5-3) pitched a scoreless inning to earn the victory.
Chicago starter James Shields gave up one run on three hits and three walks in six innings, and remained winless in his last nine starts. He was 0-5 with a 10.75 earned-run average in his previous eight appearances.
After a rocky third, Shields mowed down nine consecutive batters before Carlos Santana reached on an infield hit in the sixth.
Cleveland counterpart Mike Clevinger retired seven batters in a row before Abreu led off the fourth with a homer for a 1-1 tie. It was the sixth homer and 22nd RBI in his last 17 games.
That was the lone run off Clevinger, who allowed three hits and one walk in four innings.
Shields labored through a 33-pitch third but avoided major damage. The Indians scored only on Jose Ramirez’s sacrifice fly despite a single, three walks and two wild pitches.
Clevinger encountered trouble in the first, but retired Narvaez on a pop out with the bases loaded.
Chicago OF Avisail Garcia has a .341 batting average in his last 11 games and five home runs and 16 RBI in his last 28. The hot streak coincided with his move from designated hitter to right field.
“His swings are better,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Whether it was playing the outfield or not, there could be a correlation to that. But I think it’s more (about) his mechanics and just the timing that he has right now.”
Lindor on hold
Cleveland INF Francisco Lindor struck out in a pinch-hit role and remained 22 hits short of 200 this season. Since 1996, Michael Brantley (2013) is the only Indians player to achieve the feat.
Indians: C Yan Gomes could be activated and start on Friday pending the test results on his right wrist. He was struck by a pitch Wednesday in a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron. He has been on the disabled list since July 18 because of a dislocated right shoulder. … OF Lonnie Chisenhall (abdominal discomfort) was a late scratch. OF Coco Crisp replaced him.
White Sox: INF/DH Justin Morneau (neck stiffness) sat out a third consecutive game as a precautionary measure.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (16-9, 3.05) will bid for his third win in as many starts against the Tigers this season on Friday. Rookie RHP Michael Fulmer (10-6, 2.76) is scheduled to start for the visitors.
White Sox: LHP Chris Sale (15-8, 3.03) will take the ball in the opener of a weekend series in Kansas City on Friday night. The Royals will counter with RHP Ian Kennedy (11-9, 3.62).