CLEVELAND — Billy Hamilton provided another moment as only Hamilton can, slamming a double off the wall driving in the tying runs, advancing to third on a throw home and making a daring, successful dash to the plate to score the go-ahead run against the Indians and 2020 Cy Young winner Shane Bieber.
And with that, the White Sox’ mojo Tuesday at Progressive Field seemed to have dried up — until the ninth inning when the Sox pecked away at reliever James Karinchak with singles by Jake Lamb, Zack Collins (RBI), Tim Anderson and Nick Madrigal (RBI) and two runs to get within a run. It wasn’t over until Jose Abreu, named the AL Player of the Week hours earlier, grounded to shortstop to give the Indians a 6-5 victory.
Abreu was 0-for-5 and he left eight runners on base.
“If you’re not going to win the game that’s definitely the next-best thing,” said Jake Lamb, who scored two runs, walked twice and had two singles including one in the ninth.
“I’m just impressed with the fact we keep playing nine,” manager Tony La Russa said. “If we do that, good things will happen.”
Right-hander Dylan Cease had his worst start of the season, allowing six runs and exiting in the fourth inning as the Indians (30-24) won their second in three games of a four-game series — weather permitting Wednesday — between the top two teams in the AL Central. The Sox are 33-22.
Cease allowed eight hits including No. 9 batter Austin Hedges’ tiebreaking two-run homer in the fourth, and struck out two, a season low. Two RBI infield singles on slow grounders to shortstop Tim Anderson, a balk and a dropped third strike on a slider bouncing off catcher Zack Collins on what could have been the third out without damage in the first set a bad tone in the first inning.
Cease threw 94 pitches, 57 for strikes and saw his ERA climb from 2.98 to 3.79.
“There’s just not too much positive I can say about it really,” Cease said. “It’s one of those I’m going to put it behind me.”
Bieber (6-3, 3.08) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, striking out seven.
Hamilton homered twice in the Sox’ four-game sweep against the Orioles over the weekend.
“He gets the big hit, never stops running and he saw an opening there and he just made a run,” La Russa said. “Reminded me of Rickey [Henderson]. Sometimes I call it Rickey runs, you make a run that nobody else makes unless you’ve got that extra gear.”
Abreu named AL Player of Week
First baseman Jose Abreu was named American League Player of the Week for his performance from May 24-30, Abreu’s sixth such honor.
Abreu went 9-for-24 (.375) with two home runs, two doubles, 10 RBI and four walks in seven games. He hit safely in six games.
Kopech and Engel hamstring updates
General manager Rick Hahn said Michael Kopech has a Grade 1 hamstring strain. Returning from the injured list on June 8 when he’s eligible might be optimistic for Kopech, who has been playing catch while with the team in Cleveland. But Hahn said it’s not feared to be a long-term issue.
Outfielder Adam Engel (hamstring) played his first full nine-inning game for Triple-A Charlotte Thursday but his return doesn’t appear imminent.
“It’s not like he’s completed everything he needs to complete just yet, but he’s getting close,” Hahn said.