Settling for a split: Bucs can’t rally against Chicago
PITTSBURGH — Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run double and the Chicago White Sox stopped a five-game losing streak, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Wednesday.
Leury Garcia added a home run as the AL Central leaders ended their longest skid of the season.
Chicago starter Dylan Cease (6-3) bounced back from a rough outing to work 5 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run while striking out seven.
“I did an Ozzie Smith somersault when we got that last out,” manager Tony La Russa joked. “You take it too serious, because this what you do for a living, but you know, it’s been kind of miserable. Five straight days, so we’d have taken a win anytime in there to ease the misery. … If you had to pick one of the five to win, you’d pick this one.”
Cease was tagged for seven runs in 3 1/3 innings in his previous start at Houston. That game was the first of Chicago’s slump, and Cease was happy to be one to help end it on Wednesday.
“Anytime you can help the team get a win, it’s why I’m here,” he said. “It’s not just all me, though. Between our defense and our offense, I’m just happy to be able to do my part.”
Liam Hendricks pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save of the season.
Grandal’s tiebreaking hit came with two outs in the fifth inning and finished Pirates starter Chase De Jong (0-2).
Garcia led off the second with his first home run of the season, a first-pitch drive to right center.
Pittsburgh scored twice in the second after Cease made two errors in attempting to field a bunt by De Jong with Michael Perez on first base. Cease first dropped the ball and then threw it away, giving the Pirates runners at second and third.
“We’ve all seen that inning get away because the pitcher just loses concentration and doesn’t realize he’s been good,” La Russa said. “Just get the next hitter out and go from there. That’s a really good example of his growth and his potential.”
Chicago outfielder Luis Gonzalez got his first big league hit with a second-inning double and scored on Tim Anderson’s double.
Gonzalez made his first start as the White Sox navigate the absence of outfielder Adam Engel, who was placed on the injured list on Tuesday.
Adam Frazier had an RBI grounder and Ke’Bryan Hayes singled home a run that made it 2-all.
Frazier doubled and scored on a single by Hayes in the seventh.
Hayes, who had gone 2 for 13 over the first four games of the Pittsburgh homestand, finished 2 for 4 with a walk and two RBIs.
“We talk about slow heartbeats with a bunch of guys. This guy definitely has one,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “He stays under control, doesn’t let it affect him on the other side of the ball. Obviously there’s going to be some highs and lows, but no thought that he’s not going to grind through it.”
Pirates: LHP Sam Howard has been diagnosed with right knee tendinitis, but is not expected to miss significant time. … RHP Luis Oviedo (left quad strain) is expected to throw a simulated game in St. Louis.
White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (6-20, 1.83 ERA) is scheduled to start a three-game series with the Mariners in Chicago on Friday. Rodon has allowed just one run in each of his three starts in June and has a 1.42 ERA this month.
Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (1-4, 5.66) will start a seven-game road swing in St. Louis on Thursday. The Pirates are 0-5 against the Cardinals this season and have lost 10 straight against St. Louis overall.