White Sox get strong start from veteran left hander as they defeat defending AL Champions on the road. South Siders earn first road victory of the season.
In Derek Holland‘s Chicago White Sox debut last Friday against the Minnesota Twins, he pitched very well. Holland threw six innings of two run ball in a losing effort. On Wednesday night against the defending American League Champion Cleveland Indians, he was looking to find that same stride. He did just that. This time, culminating in a winning result.
Coming off an extra inning loss the night before, the Sox were looking to put some runs on the board after scoring just two combined in their past two games. The Sox had a tough task in hand facing hard-throwing Danny Salazar.
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After a leadoff walk by designated hitter Cody Asche and an opposite field double from Avisail Garcia to start the 2nd inning, late addition Matt Davidson stepped up to the plate looking to do damage. White Sox regular third baseman Todd Frazier and catcher Geovany Soto were both scratched from the lineup before game time due to illness/injury.
Davidson made the most of that opportunity as he drove a fastball from Salazar into left field to score Asche and Garcia to take a quick 2-0 lead. That is all the run support Holland would need as he was dealing all night long.
Throughout anticipated anecdotes from White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, Holland was in the midst of making history early on. He had a no-hitter going through his first five innings. Holland’s command guided him through the Indians order. His command escaped him as he began the sixth inning.
Francisco Lindor lined a double off the left-center field wall, causing Holland to lose his no-hitter. After a one out walk to Edwin Encarnacion, Holland regained his composure and was able to pitch out of his first and only jam of the night. Anthony Swarzak came out to start the seventh which signaled the end of Holland’s night. He pitched an impressive six innings allowing just one hit and did not allow a single run.
Swarzak made his White Sox debut and did not disappoint. A 1-2-3 seventh inning built the bridge to Nate Jones, who did allow a run but escaped further damage. David Robertson came on to close out the ninth and looked impressive once again, picking up his first save of the 2017 season.
The win brought the Sox closer to .500 as they now move to 3-4 on the year; ending their two game skid. Cleveland falls to 4-4 and remains in the third place in the AL Central.
The White Sox look to move back to the .500 mark for the third time in this young season Thursday night in the rubber match of the three game set. Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-0 3.00 ERA) will oppose soft-tossing right hander Josh Tomlin (0-1 11.57 ERA). The game can be seen on WGN at 6:10 ET.