The White Sox had plenty of chances on Friday afternoon.
But an offense that has sputtered all season didn’t come through again in a 3-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. Eight Cleveland pitchers combined to strand 13 base runners as the White Sox lost their fourth straight game and for the 13th time in 15 contests. The team also produced three runs or fewer for the 74th time this season and dropped to 15-59 in those contests.
“We just couldn’t cash that one hit in we needed,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We’ve had our opportunities.”
Cleveland starter Danny Salazar set the tone for another trying day for the White Sox offense.
The rookie put two of the first three batters he faced in the first inning on base but struck out Adam Dunn and retired Paul Konerko — who later drove in the team’s only run with a two-out single in the fifth inning — on a grounder to short.
Salazar, who worked on a pitch count, struck out nine in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
He also struck out Dunn — who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk — with two on to end the third inning.
The top three hitters in the White Sox lineup provided opportunities galore.
Jordan Danks walked twice and singled in five trips to the plate. He also flew out to the wall in the ninth inning against Chris Perez. Rookie Marcus Semien finished with two hits and Alexei Ramirez went 3-for-5.
But the White Sox, who are on pace to score 596 runs this season, their fewest in a 162-game season since 1980 (587), went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
They left two each on base in the first, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth innings.
“We put together some good at-bats,” Semien said. “We struck out a little bit. I like where we’re going, we’ve just got to get those big hits. We should be winning games because we’re pitching well.”
The Indians scored three runs off Hector Santiago, who lasted four-plus innings. Drew Stubbs’ two-out single in the fourth made it 1-0.
Ryan Raburn doubled in a run in the fifth inning, and Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.