White Sox fans expecting a healthy dose of Chris Sale in his second start back from injury saw their dreams cut short on Tuesday night as more than two hours of rain delays forced the ace out after just three innings.
But Scott Carroll, of all people, came to the rescue, scattering five hits over the next three innings and the offense did just enough in a 2-1 win over the Indians in a game that lasted until well after midnight.
Sale, for what it's worth, looked in prime form in his three innings of work, striking out three and allowing just one baserunner — a walk to Mike Aviles in the third. But the second rain delay of the game came shortly after and lasted for one hour, 58 minutes and a battle of the bullpens ensued.
The White Sox actually got on the board before the rain came in one of those ol' fashioned manufacturin' ways that fills Hawk Harrelson with joy. Adam Eaton led off the bottom of the third with a single and advanced on a wild pitch by Justin Masterson — whose night was also cut short by the rain. After Gordon Beckham moved Eaton to third on a groundout to shortstop, CONOR (as James calls him) drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single to center.
After the rain was gone, Carroll came in and was far from flawless, but pitched around trouble on more than one occasion to earn the win. In the fourth, he allowed Michael Brantley and Ryan Raburn to reach on back-to-back singles with one out before stranding them on a foul out by Jan Gomes and fly out by Lonnie Chisenhall. The same thing happened to him in the sixth when Raburn and Asdrubal Cabrera reached — again with one out — but he induced a double-play ball off the bat of Gomes to end the frame.
The Sox extended their lead prior to Carroll's departure when Gordon Beckham ran into a hanging slider from Mark Lowe for a solo blast that put the White Sox up 2-0.
Cleveland appeared primed for a rally in the seventh after Scott Downs relieved Carroll and allowed back-to-back singles to Chisenhall and David Murphy. Jake Petricka came in and allowed only an RBI groundout to Aviles before the spunky Sox killer hurt his cause by proceeding to get thrown out trying to steal. Petricka then struck out Justin Sellers to end the frame without any other damage done.
Another bright spot on a long night came in the ninth when Robin Ventura again called on the maligned Ronald Belisario for the save, and the veteran answered with a 1-2-3 inning to send the remaining tired and rain-soaked crowd home happy.
Team Record: 27-27
Next Game: Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT vs. Cleveland on CSN
Follow The Catbird Seat on Twitter @TheCatbird_Seat