The White Sox haven’t generated a ton of offense without Jose Abreu.
But they have produced just enough to get by without their slugger.
After six scoreless innings Wednesday, the White Sox woke up late for a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. Moises Sierra’s walk-off RBI single with one out in the ninth helped the White Sox complete a series sweep of the Indians.
The White Sox won for the seventh time in 10 tries and posted their 17th comeback victory of the season to move back above .500. Ronald Belisario earned the victory after he blew his second save in five tries.
“It’s a collaboration,” White Sox rookie Marcus Semien said. “It’s not one guy. We’ve got a great group here with a lot of guys that have a lot of energy.”
Their biggest guy, Abreu, took another step back toward a possible return on Wednesday as he took ground balls and live batting practice. The first baseman, who leads the team in homers and RBIs, has been on the disabled list since May 18 and is eligible to come off it on Monday in Los Angeles.
Even though the White Sox have only scored 41 runs in the 11 games he has been on the DL, they improved to 7-4 without Abreu.
The White Sox averaged 4.93 runs per game before Abreu’s injury.
Wednesday’s test was a little bit bigger after Cleveland rallied to tie the score at 2 on Yan Gomes’ two-out RBI single off Belisario (3-3) -- a rally that was extended when Adam Dunn made a poor throw on a potential double play.
But Tyler Flowers got the White Sox started in their half of the ninth when he reached base on a throwing error. Pinch runner Leury Garcia then stole second base and moved to third on Semien’s fly out. Sierra then worked the count full before he lined a Bryan Shaw (1-1) fastball the opposite way for the win.
“These guys feel like they can score late,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “They get momentum late in the game when somebody gets on. They did a good job there. Leury steals a base, Marcus gets him over and Moises gets him in. If you're going to pick a way to do it, that's a good way to do it.”
Their first six innings was a good example of what not to do as Cleveland starter T.J. House silenced the White Sox. He retired 10 in a row before Gordon Beckham singled in the fourth.
The White Sox broke out of their slumber in the seventh when Semien singled up the middle with two strikes and two outs off reliever Scott Atchison to tie it up.
An inning later, Dunn’s bases-loaded sac fly put the White Sox ahead 2-1.
But the biggest contributions came from Sierra and White Sox starter Hector Noesi, both of whom were claimed off waivers and embody the team’s all-for-one mentality.
Now on his third team of the season, Noesi was sharp for 7 1/3 innings and deserved to earn his first victory in more than two years.
Noesi, who was waived by both Seattle and Texas in April, owns the second-longest losing streak in the majors at 14 games, a span of 39 appearances, including 18 starts. Over that time, Noesi is 0-14 with a 5.87 ERA in 145 2/3 innings.
But the White Sox got a second straight encouraging start from Noesi, who made only one mistake when Jason Giambi took him deep for a solo home run in the second inning.
He set down the side in order in the first, fourth and fifth innings.
Noesi also pitched out of a jam twice in the sixth inning after he allowed a pair of singles, including one with two outs.
Noesi first looked like he got out of the jam when Jason Kipnis flew out, but umpires called a balk before the play to move runners to second and third. But it didn’t matter as Kipnis grounded out on the next pitch.
Noesi allowed a run and five hits with five strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.
Perhaps sensing his first victory was within reach, Noesi said he implored Sierra to help his cause. That aid arrived later than Noesi had hoped for but is par for the course for a team that scores nearly 40 percent of its runs from the seventh inning on.
“I think it was in the sixth inning I told (Sierra), ‘You gotta do something for me,’ ” Noesi said. “He did it in the last inning.”