Mike Clevinger, bullpen stymie Guardians’ bats, White Sox win 3-1

CHICAGO — Mike Clevinger looked more like the 2023 version of himself, the Chicago White Sox bullpen stood on its head once more, and the South Siders beat the Cleveland Guardians for their fourth straight win Saturday night.

“We went through probably the the worst 25 games in White Sox history,” said White Sox manager Pedro Grifol after the game. “But these guys never stopped working, they never stopped fighting.

“They’re really, really close in there, they play together [and] now they’re expecting to win.”

Over their last 15 games, Chicago is 9-6 and 6-2 over their last eight contest, as compared to the 3-22 record the White Sox posted during the first month of their season.

Clevinger pitched 4.2 innings and gave up four hits with one earned run on five strikeouts, no walks and 73 pitches (52 strikes).

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Nicky Lopez went 1-3 with a double that drove in his first run of the season, while Martin Maldonado notched an RBI single, and Andrew Benintendi brought home in a run on a sacrifice fly to cap the offensive output for the White Sox.

Here’s how the game played out:

Game Recap

Chicago was the first team to strike at the plate after notching two runs in the second inning.

Paul DeJong reached on an infield dribble in between the pitchers mound and second base before Lopez turned on a pitch and knocked it into the right field corner for an RBI double and a 1-0 lead.

Lopez took third as Guardians right fielder Will Brennan bobbled the ball, and Maldonado helped out the offense with an RBI single into left field to make it 2-0 South Siders.

Clevinger’s lone blemish of the day came in the fourth inning when Cleveland’s Josh Naylor went oppo-taco for a solo home run that turned out to be the Guardians’ lone run of the ballgame.

Tim Hill came on in relief of Clevinger with two outs in the fifth inning, and promptly retired all four batters he faced to earn the victory, his first on the year.

The last offensive outburst of the game for the White Sox came in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Andrew Vaughn, who finished his day 2-4 with a run scored, singled to right field right before Eloy Jimenez drove a double into the right center gap to put runners at second and third with no outs at the beginning of the eighth.

Benintendi followed Jimenez and drove in the game’s final run with a sacrifice fly to left field.

At the end of the game, John Brebbia came on in the ninth to earn the save, getting Jose Ramirez, Naylor and Brennan to go down in order to seal the win.

Mendick making progress

Danny Mendick was out running before the White Sox’s game Saturday and is making progress toward a rehab assignment in the minor leagues, according to Grifol.

“Good. He was running out there today [during pregame]. He should be heading out at some point, getting some games in the minor leagues, and we’ll see how he feels after that,” Grifol said before the game Saturday. “But he feels good.”

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Mendick was placed on the 10-day IL back on May 4 (retroactive to May 2) with lower back tightness.

Up next

The Chicago White Sox face the Cleveland Guardians in game four of their series at Guaranteed Rate Field Sunday, with first pitch set for 1:10 p.m. Central Time.

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