Andrew Vaughn’s grounder barely screeched between third baseman Jose Ramirez and shortstop Amed Rosario for a two-out single in the first inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader Tuesday at Progressive Field.
The Chicago White Sox didn’t get another hit off Cleveland Guardians starter Shane Bieber until an infield hit by Jose Abreu with one out in the seventh.
Bieber has often lashed out at the Red Sox and Tuesday was no different. The Sox were limited to three hits in a 4-1 loss in the first game of a split doubleheader.
“He threw the ball well,” Sox second baseman Josh Harrison said. “That’s baseball. Sometimes you’re going to have guys that have outlets like that. He hit the zone. That’s pretty much what a lot of starting pitchers want to do. He lived in the area, he had his outs.
“He got a couple of double plays, grounded out when he needed them. Sometimes you’re going to run into guys who have a day like that.”
Bieber went the distance, allowing one run and striking out seven. He did not give up a ride.
“I don’t know how many balls he threw over the middle of the plate, every once in a while to get ahead, but (he was) in control the whole game,” Red Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “So I give him credit.
“Our plan was to try to hit more balls in the middle. We got over some, but when the ball rolls in or rolls out, it’s hard to do it, the pitcher deserves the credit.”
Bieber entered Tuesday with a record of 6-2 in 13 career starts against the Red Sox. His 2.48 ERA against them was his second-lowest mark against any AL opponent, behind only the Baltimore Orioles (0.75).
Sox starter Davis Martin kept the Sox in Tuesday’s game, allowing four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings.
Martin was lined near his right shoulder in the second inning, but he recovered and converted a double play and stayed in the game.
The Guardians scored three runs in the third, all with two outs. Ramírez hit a two-run single to make it 3-0.
“I liked how I attacked the zone,” Martin said of his overall performance. “This team is a good hitting team. They are a contact team. They are going to get their singles. I’d probably say three things: Walking (Myles) Straw (with one out in the fifth), the fastball that leaked to Rosario for the double (in the fifth) and just when we faced Jose Ramirez. He is an All-Star for a reason.
“I can’t let him beat you and I shot too much in the zone against him. It should have been a little more, hey, let’s try to get him off the plate or let’s try to get him to chase him. There are guys on the base. He wants the RBI from him. Let’s see if we can get her to chase him. If he doesn’t? He fine. Let’s go to the next guy.”
The third inning featured a less than stellar defense from the Sox. Austin Hedges reached on a groundout that third baseman Yoán Moncada couldn’t cleanly field for an infield hit. Hedges scored with two outs when Rosario’s line between left-center field dropped for a double. Left fielder Eloy Jimenez did not take a direct path to the ball.
With runners on second and third and two out, the Sox chose to throw to Ramirez, who drove in two with a single to right field.
“We were going to throw Ramirez hard and probably the mistake he made there, he puts the ball over the plate (and) it’s a single,” La Russa said. “It was still a groundout, I found a hole.”
Rosario pushed Paja with the double in the fifth. Ramirez walked up and was intentionally walked after fouling a pitch.
“The second time we were also throwing (Ramirez),” La Russa said. “Even then, get tough. Because sometimes you catch the guy, they get out on their own. And if you have good patience, it’s like an intentional unintentional walk.
“So that’s what (pitching coach) Ethan (Katz) came out to say and the first pitch was on the plate. He fouled, so I said, well, put it up (with the intentional walk). I just think it’s Davis’ lack of experience and understanding more about that situation. Because he’s smart enough to know how to throw off the plate and he got it, he cost him two runs (in the third). He was supposed to do it again (in the fifth) and after one strike, he said no.”
The Sox showed some signs of coming together offensively in the seventh. Jiménez followed up Abreu’s single with one of his own, bringing home Vaughn for the team’s only run. Gavin Sheets pitched in the tying run, but grounded into a double play late in the inning.
Bieber retired the team in order in the eighth and ninth as the Sox fell to 1-6 this season against Cleveland.
“Nothing is missing,” Harrison said. “We just have to put it together day in and day out and be consistent.”