Luis Robert will look to continue his torrid stretch at the plate on Saturday night as the visiting Chicago White Sox face the Cleveland Indians in the fourth contest of their five-game series.
Robert extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games on Friday night when he homered to lead off the fifth inning in Chicago’s 1-0 victory over Cleveland.
The homer was the second in as many days for Robert, who is batting a robust .434 (23-for-53) with nine extra-base hits (six doubles, three homers) and 15 RBIs during his hitting streak.
The White Sox (87-67) had dropped five of seven before clinching the American League Central title with a 7-2 win in the opener of a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon.
“We had a good time last night, but at the end of the day it’s just the beginning,” Chicago pitcher Dylan Cease said after he picked up the win on Friday. “We didn’t come here to win the AL championship; we came here to win a World Series. We’re all pretty locked in for what needs to come next.”
The Indians (75-78), who were eliminated from postseason contention following their series-opening setback, struck out 16 times, tying a season high, en route to suffering their 13th shutout loss of the season.
“We had some chances,” Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. “When you’re facing a good pitcher, you have to cash in on them. We didn’t … We just couldn’t get the big hit.”
White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn (10-5, 2.47 ERA) will look for his first win in two months on Saturday.
Lynn, who last emerged victorious on July 25 vs. Milwaukee, fell to 0-2 in his past eight outings despite yielding two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings of a 2-1 setback to the Texas Rangers last Saturday.
Despite his recent struggles, Lynn has been everything the White Sox wanted and more when they acquired him from the Rangers in December.
“We knew what we were getting with him as far as all the extra things — competitor, mentor-type,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “(He) really has learned a lot, and he likes to share it.”
Lynn, 34, is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts this season against Cleveland. The two-time All-Star is 4-2 with a 2.36 ERA in seven career appearances versus the Indians.
Jose Ramirez is 4-for-14 (two homers, four RBIs) in his career versus Lynn. Ramirez had two hits Friday and is batting .455 (15-for-33) with two homers, nine RBIs and 12 runs scored over his last 11 games.
Cleveland rookie right-hander Eli Morgan (3-7, 5.68) will provide the opposition on Saturday.
Morgan, 25, picked up his first win in over a month on Sunday after allowing one run on six hits in six innings of an 11-1 rout of the New York Yankees.
Morgan will make his 17th career start overall and first against the White Sox on Saturday.
–Field Level Media
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