White Sox: James Shields throws a gem in loss to Cincinnati Reds

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 02: James Shields #33 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 2, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 02: James Shields #33 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 2, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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White Sox pitcher James Shields just had his second consecutive outstanding game.

But, unlike his last start, the White Sox bullpen was unable to maintain the lead. By the time the game was over, the Sox lost to the Reds by a score of 3-5.

The only good thing for Shields was that he was not credited with the loss. That went to Chris Volstad who gave up four runs in the eighth inning.

Second outstanding Shields start

Shields looks to be showcasing his skills for potential trades. After pitching his second shut-out game in a Sox uniform, Shields only gave up one run to the Red in 6.2 innings of work. Contrast this to the last time he shut out a team (in July 2016), in the following game he gave up six runs.

In Monday’s game against the Reds, Shields posted a final line of four hits, one earned run, four walks, and three strikeouts. Scott Schebler hit a bomb over the right-field wall off of Shields’ first pitch of the game. That was all it took to get Shields to adjust. On the second pitch of the game, Tucker Barnhart attempted to go yard, but Daniel Palka caught the ball instead.

Shields did see seven batters in the first, but he and the defense behind him kept three baserunners from crossing home plate. After the rough first inning, Shields calmed down and in most innings, he faced the minimum.

Sox took lead for a little while

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Offensively, the Sox tried hard to get the W and actually took the lead by scoring two runs in the seventh inning. The team even tried to get a little cushion by adding an extra run in the eighth.

In the seventh, Adam Engel hit a hard line drive for a single. Then, Shields moved him over with a sac bunt. This set the stage for Yoan Moncada, who hit a double and earned an RBI for Engel’s run. With Moncada on second, Yolmer Sanchez hit a single to third. Speedy Moncada scored off the single. Rick Renteria tried to keep the momentum going by pinch hitting Matt Davidson for Jose Abreu, but pinch hitting is harder than it seems. Davidson struck out to end the inning.

Abreu left the game with a bruise on his left ankle. His status is day-to-day.

Garcia goes yard

In the eighth, Avisail Garcia proved his worth to the team with his fifth home run of the season. But, it wasn’t enough for the Sox. The 3-1 lead was decimated by the Reds, who countered with four runs to take the lead.

Next: White Sox Jose Abreu should start in 2018 All-Star Game

Once the Reds got the lead, they were able to use their closer, Raisel Iglesias, who earned his 16th save of the season. Hopefully, Tuesday’s game will go in favor of the Sox as Lucas Giolito faces Anthony DeSclafani. The game begins at 6:10 CT.