CHICAGO -- When James Shields last won a ballgame, the White Sox had just finished knocking out six home runs over nine innings at Kauffman Stadium and the South Siders were unbeaten.That victory came on Opening Day, March 29. Fourteen appearances and 13 starts later, along with a 22-42 record
CHICAGO -- When James Shields last won a ballgame, the White Sox had just finished knocking out six home runs over nine innings at Kauffman Stadium and the South Siders were unbeaten.
That victory came on Opening Day, March 29. Fourteen appearances and 13 starts later, along with a 22-42 record for the White Sox since that impressive open, and Shields picked up his second victory of the season with a 5-1 White Sox win over the Indians on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Shields hit Francisco Lindor with the first pitch of the game, but didn't allow much after, exiting after yielding one run on four hits over seven innings with two strikeouts.
"I feel like I've been pitching really well for the most part this season," said Shields, who improved to 2-7 on the season. "But wins haven't come my way. We've won some games while I've been in there, so that's been good, but at the end of the day, you want to get the win for the team."
"Different angles, there's some deception along with the stuff, been doing it for a long time," said Indians manager Terry Francona of Shields' success. "He goes out there and competes, fights, stays off the barrels and never lets us get in any kind of rhythm at all."
By retiring Jason Kipnis for the first out of the seventh, Shields reached 2,500 innings pitched for his illustrious career. He also has worked 59 1/3 postseason innings and 568 1/3 in the Minors. Shields has pitched at least six innings in 10 straight starts this season.
"Again, his longevity. He has reinvented himself," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He continues to impress everybody.
"Little different arm slot now, he has become very comfortable with it. Changes speeds really well out of that slot, couple of different velocities on breaking pitches. Still is able to work 91-92 [mph], just continues to attack the strike zone and has a really good idea of how he wants to go after hitters. He continues to show everybody he can pitch."
Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez started the White Sox offense off strong against Cleveland's Adam Plutko with back-to-back home runs on back-to-back pitches in the first inning. Matt Davidson doubled twice to drive in two, and Omar Narvaez added a run-scoring double.
It was Shields after a loss on June 2 to Milwaukee who forcefully stated he wasn't worried about the rebuild and was tired of the losing. It was the same Shields celebrating with his teammates postgame Tuesday in what looked like the after-effects of some sort of fog machine and strobe lighting in the home clubhouse.
"We are trying to celebrate each win," Shields said. "We are going to go game by game and try to win the series and enjoy the moment instead of looking too far ahead or dwell on what we've done. We are going to enjoy the moment."
The White Sox earned their first win at home against the Indians since July 30, 2017. The team is 10-17 against the American League Central overall and 2-7 at home this season.
HE SAID IT
"To be honest, my cleat got stuck first pitch. It jarred me a little bit and I yanked the ball. I was hoping it went behind him, but instead, it hit him in the foot. It was a weird situation. I'm glad I got out in the first inning unscathed." -- Shields, on hitting Lindor with the first pitch
Dylan Covey is scheduled to make his sixth start of 2018 on Wednesday night with a 7:10 p.m. CT first pitch against the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field. Covey has gone 1-0 without allowing an earned run over 11 innings in his last two starts, including a victory against former White Sox pitcher Chris Sale. Covey matches up with right-hander Trevor Bauer on Wednesday.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.