MILWAUKEE - These don’t appear to be the same old Chicago White Sox that have stumbled through seven consecutive losing seasons.
Jose Abreu hit a tiebreaking two-out single in the seventh inning, helping Lucas Giolito and the White Sox edge the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 on Tuesday. The White Sox have won six straight games for the first time since April 2017.
“Everybody’s feeling really good,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
Well, not everybody.
White Sox rookie second baseman Nick Madrigal left the game in the third inning after he was thrown out trying to get from first to third on a single up the middle. Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion departed in the sixth.
Renteria said both had soreness in their left shoulders and will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
The White Sox overcame the losses of both players to rally in the late innings, thanks once again to Abreu.
After Milwaukee’s Ben Gamel and Chicago’s Eloy Jimenez hit two-run homers, the White Sox broke the tie in the seventh by capitalizing on the Brewers’ mistakes.
A throwing error by shortstop Eric Sogard allowed leadoff batter Danny Mendick to reach second. Brewers reliever Devin Williams (0-1) responded by striking out Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada, but Mendick advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on Abreu’s hit.
This marked the second straight night Abreu sparked a comeback. He hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 6-4 victory over the Brewers on Monday.
The Brewers threatened in the eighth and ninth but couldn’t tie the game.
Alex Colome earned his third save when Gamel grounded out with runners on third and second after consecutive two-out hits by Ryon Healy and Omar Narvaez.
Brock Holt walked and Sogard singled to start the eighth, but Jimmy Cordero got of the jam as Keston Hiura grounded into a double play and Christian Yelich struck out looking.
“We got pressure, (but) when we needed a hit, we just never got it,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
The Brewers have lost two straight since their weekend series with St. Louis got scrapped because multiple Cardinals had tested positive for COVID-19. Yelich, the 2018 NL MVP and two-time defending NL batting champion, is just 3 for 34 at the plate so far.
“He’s struggling,” Counsell said. “I don’t think there’s any way else to say it. He’s struggling. He’s probably worked as hard as you could want him to work. He shouldn’t work any harder because that’s not going to solve it. He’s working as hard as he can, he just hasn’t solved it yet. It hasn’t looked great, but he’s a great, great player.”
Giolito (1-1) struck out nine and allowed two runs, three walks and four hits in six innings. He spent much of the night dueling with Woodruff, who also allowed two runs over six innings. Woodruff scattered eight hits while striking out six and walking one.
“It was one of those nights where I didn’t really have my ‘A’ stuff going, especially with the fastball command,” Giolito said. “Just kind of pulling off a few pitches, especially early, and then as we got deeper in the outing, obviously relying on the changeup a lot to kind of get back on track.”
Limited to one hit through the first four innings, the Brewers broke through in the fifth as Gamel’s two-run shot into the right-field seats opened the scoring.
The White Sox tied it in the sixth on a homer to center by Jimenez that ended a string of 13 1/3 scoreless innings for Woodruff.
The White Sox placed left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon on the 10-day injured list with shoulder soreness Tuesday. The injury caused Rodon to leave after only two innings Monday.
Renteria says he’s optimistic Rodon will return before the end of the season.
In other roster moves, the White Sox purchased the contract of pitcher Brady Lail from their Schaumburg training site and designated outfielder Luis Basabe for assignment.
The pandemic is preventing the between-inning sausage races from taking place at Miller Park this year, but the tradition hasn’t been scrapped entirely. It’s just moving out of the ballpark.
The sausage races instead are taking place at various Milwaukee-area locations and being shown on the Miller Park scoreboard and on social media at select home game. For Monday’s home opener, the Polish sausage won a race that took place at the Sheboygan Falls headquarters of Johnsonville, the event’s sponsor. The chorizo won Tuesday’s race, with the Milwaukee Art Museum serving as the backdrop.
The Brewers and White Sox continue this four-game series but move it to Chicago for matchups Wednesday and Thursday.