Josh Naylor homered for the second straight night but it wasn’t nearly enough as the rest of the Cleveland Guardians’ lineup went quiet in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito is a familiar foe for the Guardians, but he barely broke a sweat facing Cleveland’s lineup on a humid night in Chicago. He limited the Guardians to six hits, one walk, and one earned run over six innings, striking out five. His fastball and changeup were equally effective, with the former recording a 43 CSW% on the night. Giolito’s lone blemish was a hanging slider that Josh Naylor turned into an opposite field home run, giving Cleveland their only run.
Giolito was locked into a pitcher’s duel with Cal Quantrill for much of the game, but it was the Guardians’ starting pitcher who blinked first. He gave up a two-out double to Josh Harrison, who came around to score an RBI single from Tim Anderson to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
The next inning, Gavin Sheets came to the plate with two outs and Luis Robert at second base. Sheets popped a ball into foul territory on the third base side that Jose Ramirez could not secure, giving Sheets new life at the plate. It was a tough play, but the ball was in Ramirez’s glove and squirted out. Two pitches later, Sheets hit a two-run blast to extend the White Sox’s lead to 3-0.
For whatever reason, manager Terry Francona is incapable of removing a starting pitcher from a game until he has surrendered one last insurance run. So he sent Quantrill back out to the mound in the seventh inning, where he gave up a single to Adam Engel and a one-out RBI double to Tim Anderson to make it a 4-1 deficit that Cleveland would never even threaten to surmount.
Quantrill surrendered 10 hits and four earned runs over 6.1 innings, striking out three.
The Guardians mustered what could charitably be interpreted as a rally attempt in the ninth inning, with Franmil Reyes drawing a two-out walk and Amed Rosario singling to right field. Then Andres Gimenez nearly loaded the bases on an infield single. He was initially called safe after sliding into first base, seemingly beating first baseman Jose Abreu to the bag on a close play, but the call was overturned after replay review. Game over.
Josh Naylor had another good night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with the aforementioned solo home run. Conversely, Myles Straw is mired in a bit of a slump. He entered the night slashing .161/.235/.194 in the month of May and was 0-for-3 with a walk Tuesday night.