Dylan Covey threw strikes and let the Chicago White Sox defense do its job.
Trevor Bauer was zoned in, too, but the Cleveland Indians let their slumping right-hander down in the field.
Covey pitched six effective innings for his first win since August and the White Sox beat the sloppy Indians 6-1 Friday for their season-high fifth straight win.
Charlie Tilson hit a two-run double to get Chicago’s offense rolling. Tilson, Yoán Moncada, Yonder Alonso and Yolmer Sánchez each had two hits as Chicago moved into a second-place tie in the AL Central with Cleveland.
Covey (1-4) allowed a lead-off homer to Francisco Lindor, and then settled in to end a personal six-game losing streak. The right-hander scattered eight hits while striking out five and walking one — the fewest number of passes he has issued in a start this season
“I tried to attack the zone,” said Covey, who threw 61 of 98 pitches for strikes. “I was able to scatter the hits and limit the damage.”
The Indians had a least one hit in every inning against Covey, but only Lindor scored.
“I’m just trying to pound the zone and not let runners on base affect me, knowing that if I make my pitches and let the defense work, that’s all I can do,” Covey said. “It worked out tonight.”
Bauer threw 81 of 111 pitches for strikes through seven innings, but four of Chicago’s six runs against him were unearned as the Indians committed four errors.
“I don’t think we were ready to play tonight and that’s my fault,” manager Terry Francona said. “Losing is one thing, but losing the way we did is unacceptable and we need to clean that up.”
Bauer (4-5) allowed nine hits and struck out eight. He was doomed by shaky fielding. An All-Star in 2018, Bauer dropped to 0-4 in six May starts with a 5.75 ERA.
“I thought he competed, and I thought he pitched better than in a long time,” Francona said. “We put him in some horrible positions from the get-go.”
Covey, by contrast, was helped by crisp defense.
Eloy Jiménez made a leaping catch of Mike Freeman’s fly on the left-field warning track to lead off the third. José Abreu speared Greg Allen’s liner near first and then dove back and caught Jake Bauers off the bag for an unassisted double play in the fourth.
Josh Osich and Juan Minaya followed Covey with three innings of one-hit relief.
Lindor’s solo shot to right-center was the 15th lead-off homer of his career.
Tilson’s ground-rule double with two outs in the third bounced just inside the left field line and into the stands, and drove in runners from second and third to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.
The White Sox added three runs, including two unearned, in the fourth, extending their lead to 5-1.
Bauer struck out Moncada with the bases loaded and none out. Abreu followed with a drive to the warning track in straightaway center for a sacrifice fly.
Alonso’s grounder to the right side should have been the third out, but it glanced of Carlos Santana’s glove for an error that allowed two more runs to score.
Bauer was visibly angry after the error and as he returned to the dugout after the inning.
“I get pretty furious, I throw harder, my stuff gets sharper,” Bauer said. “I guess that’s the best I can give you.”
Chicago tacked on another unearned run in the sixth, set up when Tim Anderson reached on Freeman’s throwing error.
White Sox catcher Seby Zavala’s bloop to right in the fourth fell in for his first major league hit. Zavala was recalled from Triple-A last Saturday after Welington Castillo went on the IL with concussion symptoms, but was optioned back to the minors after the game.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger (strained upper back muscle) is expected to throw a simulated game at the Indians’ training facility in Arizona on Saturday. … OF Tyler Naquin (left calf strain) is continuing his rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus and expected to play on Saturday at Durham. … Manager Terry Francona said OF Bradley Zimmer (right shoulder surgery in July 2018), played at Goodyear on Friday and will be re-evaluated on Saturday. The 26-year-old Zimmer could be ready to move to Triple-A in the next phase of his rehab.
White Sox: Castillo (concussion symptoms) is eligible to return on Saturday, and manager Rick Renteria said he would be re-evaluated on Friday. Castillo took a foul ball off his helmet last Friday in Minnesota.
Indians right-hander Jefry Rodríguez (1-5, 4.99 ERA) faces White Sox right-hander Iván Nova (3-4, 6.52 ERA) on Saturday afternoon. Rodríguez has been hit hard in losing his last three starts, allowing 14 earned runs over 15 innings for an 8.40 ERA over the span. Nova allowed one run in five innings in a no-decision in his previous start.
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