Sidelined with soreness in his right shoulder, Hernandez is making his first start since Chicago’s 7-6 loss to Texas on May 16. In the defeat, the veteran right-hander gave up six runs in 2 2-3 innings, easily his worst start of the season. Hernandez, who is 5-1 with a 3.91 ERA, had won three straight starts before the loss.
“El Duque” suffered his only loss this season against the Indians, an 8-6 setback on April 16 at Jacobs Field. He lasted five innings, allowing six runs — four earned—and eight hits.
The first-place White Sox have struggled the past week, dropping four of six, including a 10-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
Carl Everett, 6-for-42 in his previous 13 games, hit a two-run double in the sixth to put the White Sox ahead 5-4. But in the seventh, Chicago reliever Kevin Walker walked leadoff hitter Chone Figgins, who went to third on a hit-and-run single by Darin Erstad and scored on Steve Finley’s game-tying single.
The White Sox, who won the first two games of the series, had the bases loaded in the ninth inning, but Juan Uribe struck out to end the game.
“We see opportunity to win in every game,” Everett said. “You can’t give up. They always say 27 outs and this is just another example.”
Coming off a 4-3 loss in 13 innings to Minnesota on Thursday, the Indians have dropped back-to-back games since a four-game winning streak.
Cleveland got only four hits against Johan Santana, last season’s AL Cy Young Award winner, but scored three runs thanks to homers by Victor Martinez and Coco Crisp, who was activated from the disabled list before the game to replace injured outfielder Juan Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP who has missed most of the past three seasons with injuries, strained his right hamstring in the first inning of Tuesday’s game while trying to beat out a slow grounder in his first major league at-bat in more than a year.
He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday.
Team officials said they were unsure how much time he would miss. Gonzalez missed nearly three months with his last hamstring injury.