Justin Masterson was able to rely on his defense in his major league-leading third shutout of the season.
The Cleveland Indians turned four double plays for their first four-game sweep in Chicago since 1948, beating the Chicago White Sox 4-0 Sunday.
Masterson (10-6) gave up six hits, struck out eight and walked one. He blanked the White Sox for the second time this year.
”We’ve had such great defense, (you) try and let them hit it,” he said. ”They were aggressive, took a real aggressive approach swinging early. … We made a lot of double plays and they were pretty double plays.”
Masterson faced the minimum through six innings thanks to two double plays and a pickoff.
”Once he got through the first inning, then he kicked it in gear and started getting the velocity back up and using all his pitches,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”He was terrific.”
After Masterson began the ninth with two strikeouts, he allowed a single to Alejandro De Aza and hit Alexei Ramirez with a pitch.
Masterson struck out Alex Rios looking to end the game.
”I felt like at the point where we were at, no matter how good I felt, Rios was probably my last hitter, so I better get him out,” said Masterson, who threw 112 pitches.
The win moved Cleveland into a virtual tie with Detroit atop the AL Central.
”When we can win a game like that today, where we rest a couple guys, try to stay away from guys in the bullpen, that’s a good team win,” Francona said.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis and first baseman Nick Swisher had the day off.
The White Sox have lost 23 of 31 and fallen a season-high 15 games under .500.
Yan Gomes got three hits as the Indians won for the 10th time in 13 games.
Chris Sale (5-7) struck out 10 while allowing three runs in eight innings. He recorded double-digit strikeouts for the fourth time this season.
Sale was perfect through the first three innings before Drew Stubbs led off the fourth with a bunt single.
Sale went 0-5 with a 3.19 ERA in June – the White Sox scored a total of nine runs during his six starts in the month. Sale hasn’t won since May 17 against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Indians scored twice in the fourth. Ryan Raburn hit a two-out double that drove in Stubbs, and Carlos Santana added an RBI single.
”When you face Sale, you got to figure you’re not going to get a whole lot of runs,” Francona said. ”His stuff is so filthy. (Stubbs) laying down that bunt was so big, made him pitch out of the stretch, and Rayburn hits a double. We did a really good job getting what we got.”
The Indians added a run in the fifth. Michael Brantley led off with a single and later scored on Lonnie Chisenhall’s groundout.
Stubbs hit an RBI double in the ninth.
The White Sox put two on in the seventh before Rios hit into a double play and Adam Dunn struck out.
”If he’s throwing what he’s capable of like today, he’s tough on lefties and righties,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ”You would think where he delivers from it would be easier for lefties. But when you can move it around and have a slider like that, a slider and a sinker, it doesn’t make it easy on either side.”
NOTES: The Indians placed OF Michael Bourn on the three-day paternity list and recalled LHP Nick Hagadone. Bourn, who went to Houston after Saturday’s game to be with his wife, will be eligible to return to the roster Wednesday. Bourn is hitting .299 as the Indians’ primary leadoff hitter. Hagadone is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. … White Sox GM Rick Hahn said he hopes the team gets on a roll. If not, changes could occur as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. Hahn said his staff has been receiving ”a pretty healthy pace” of calls from other teams over the last few weeks. He indicated no player is untouchable for a possible deal … 1B Paul Konerko remained out of the White Sox lineup with a sore back for the sixth straight game. He said he hopes to play on Tuesday. The team has Monday off. … Ramirez will eventually get a day off, Ventura said. The shortstop is the only player in the majors to play every inning this year. He has committed an AL-leading 14 errors.