White Sox: Comeback Bid Falls Short Thanks to Bullpen Implosion

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CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 01: Manager Rick Renteria #36 removes Dylan Covey #68 of the Chicago White Sox from the game after he walked in a run during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field during the Indians Home Opener on April 1, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 01: Manager Rick Renteria #36 removes Dylan Covey #68 of the Chicago White Sox from the game after he walked in a run during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field during the Indians Home Opener on April 1, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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White Sox offense able to come back in the eighth inning after being held scoreless but bullpen implodes and is unable to hold lead.

Coming off their first win of the season on Sunday, the Chicago White Sox saw a comeback bid fall short on Monday thanks to their bullpen. The Sox would fall 5-3 to the Cleveland Indians on the road as their bullpen imploded after being gifted a late lead.

Ivan Nova, pitching in his first game for the White Sox on Monday afternoon, had a brilliant outing for the team. He pitched a strong seven innings and allowed just one earned run on six hits while recording four strikeouts. However, Nova didn’t get any run support from the Sox offense.

Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger was much better than Nova on Monday as he allowed no earned runs and recorded a game-high 12 strikeouts. Despite allowing three walks, the Sox managed just one hit off of Clevinger, a single from Welington Castillo. The Sox offense wouldn’t score until the eighth inning when Clevinger was out of the game.

Yoan Moncada got the Sox on the board with an RBI double in the eighth inning to score Jose Rondon to tie the game at 1-1. Rondon played on Monday in Tim Anderson‘s absence as the starting shortstop came back to Chicago with his wife in labor with their second child. After Moncada’s double, the Sox would take the lead after Ryan Cordell hit his first home run of the season.

With the Sox leading 3-1, they just needed six outs to secure an upset win over the Indians. Unfortunately, Jace Fry couldn’t prevent the Indians from scoring. The left-handed pitcher allowed two earned runs on two hits with one walk in just 0.1 innings pitched. While Fry couldn’t prevent the Indians from scoring, Cleveland’s scoring chance came on another defensive blunder from Yolmer Sanchez.

Sanchez committed yet another fielding error that allowed Leonys Martin to score to cut the Indians deficit to 3-2. The Indians would tie the game at 3-3 when Max Moroff hit an RBI single to score Jake Bauers and load the bases. This would be the end of the day for Fry but wouldn’t end the scoring for Cleveland.

With Dylan Covey in relief, the Indians would take the lead for good with a bases-loaded walk to Roberto Perez. Sadly, Covey would gift the Indians with another run as he issued another bases-loaded walk with Greg Allen at the plate. After the Sox came back to take the lead in the top of the eighth inning, the bullpen couldn’t hold that lead.

For those fans that are wondering why Kelvin Herrera and Alex Colome didn’t make an appearance. Well, according to Sox manager Rick Renteria, both pitchers made relief appearances in the last two games and he was only going to use Colome preferably in a save situation. Not a bad move by Renteria. But the rest of the bullpen will need to have better efforts soon.

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The Sox will have Tuesday off before concluding their series with the Indians on Wednesday afternoon. Carlos Rodon will start against the Indians as the Sox look to return home to Chicago with at least two wins before their home opener.

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