Right-hander James Shields is familiar with the drill.
He pitches deep into a game, receives little run support and ends up with a loss.
The pattern proved true again Saturday as Shields had his 15th quality start but fell to 4-14. The White Sox had only three hits in a 3-1 loss to the Indians that evened the series at one game apiece.
Shields allowed three runs (two earned) and seven hits in seven innings. He walked none and struck out four.
“He did a nice job,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He continues to impress everybody in terms of how he’s able to eat up innings and outs and minimize damage. I’ll repeat, I truly do not believe that his record reflects how he’s pitched.”
Two mistakes proved to be the difference. The game was tied at 1 in the sixth inning when Shields served up back-to-back home runs to Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez.
Shields, 36, is winless in his last five starts.
“It’s been a frustrating season,” Shields said. “There’s no doubt about it. I’m just going to keep trying to throw quality starts and go as deep as I can in the game and give us a chance to win.
“Flip side, [Indians starter Trevor] Bauer has been pitching really well this year. He’s a tough one to beat. You can’t give up two home runs in one inning and expect to win a ballgame like that.”
Yoan Moncada provided a rare bright spot at the plate for the Sox when he took Bauer deep in the third inning.
Moncada batted in the eighth spot for the second consecutive game. He worked a full count before pulling an inside pitch down the right-field line for his 15th homer.
“When you’re batting in the bottom part of the lineup, you have more chances to see how the pitcher is throwing,” Moncada said. “You can identify their pitches, so in that aspect, it’s beneficial.”
Moncada is 2-for-5 with a double, a homer and an RBI since moving down in the order. He said he has focused on improving his two-strike approach to cut down on strikeouts.
“It’s just a work in progress,” he said. “I know that I need to keep working.”
If Yolmer Sanchez ever gets bored with baseball, he might have a future in comedy.
Coaches and players still were laughing a day after Sanchez sneaked behind third-base coach Nick Capra and dunked Gatorade on his head during Daniel Palka’s walk-off home-run trot. That followed Sanchez’s previous walk-off celebration when he stood in front of home plate and poured Gatorade on himself while Trayce Thompson rounded the bases.
Sanchez said anyone is fair game for his next act.
“I always say I want to enjoy every second I spend here,” Sanchez said. “That’s what I try to do, especially when we win games.”