CHICAGO -- On a night when general manager Rick Hahn described 2018 as potentially the toughest year of the rebuild, Jose Abreu was forced to call it a season due to an infection in his right leg and the Chicago weather finally started to feel like fall, the White Sox
CHICAGO -- On a night when general manager Rick Hahn described 2018 as potentially the toughest year of the rebuild, Jose Abreu was forced to call it a season due to an infection in his right leg and the Chicago weather finally started to feel like fall, the White Sox merely needed their bullpen to string together a few competitive innings to try to beat Shane Bieber and the Indians in Wednesday's Guaranteed Rate Field season finale.
Much like many of their previous 80 home games, the result was not what the White Sox intended.
Francisco Lindor deposited spot-starter Jace Fry's third pitch of the game 423 feet into the left-field stands, opening a hole that only got deeper for Chicago as the night wore on. Seven White Sox relievers combined to allow 10 runs and White Sox hitters had no answer for Bieber in a 10-2 rout.
"Well, we tried to get through today with a relief corps, obviously they banged us around a little bit," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "But kind of the necessary evil moving forward, we've got the doubleheader set up. We've got four games in the next three days, we'll get everybody recovered and get back to it."
Cleveland did all of its damage in the first six frames, tallying nine runs between the third and sixth innings. White Sox pitchers needed 155 pitches to navigate those innings, with Ryan Burr taking the brunt of the impact during a five-run outing.
Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez collected the only two hits off Bieber, with Moncada chopping an infield single back to the mound in the fifth and Sanchez lining a double into the right-field corner.
The White Sox mounted a rally in the ninth inning, scoring two runs and loading the bases with the potential for more. But Sanchez flied out to end the game, as Chicago finished 2018 with a home record of 30-51.
"It's never too late," Sanchez said. "We always say we're going to fight until the last out. We did it tonight."
As the White Sox move forward in their rebuild, one of their goals will be to establish true home-field advantage at Guaranteed Rate Field. Renteria said that's pivotal for any competitive club.
"That's one of the things that you try to take advantage of, home-field advantage," Renteria said. "Hopefully as we continue to evolve and develop, that will be a part of what comes with it, winning at home. Trying to play the old .500-on-the-road and winning at home in a significant way."
Moncada struck out twice on Wednesday night, increasing his season strikeout total to 214, nine shy of Mark Reynolds' MLB single-season record set in 2009.
HE SAID IT
"You want to play good in your home, but for us ... to be a good team, we have to dominate away and at home, too." -- Sanchez, on creating home-field advantage
The White Sox will have Thursday off before traveling to Minnesota to begin their final series of the season against the Twins, starting with a doubleheader Friday to make up a postponed game from April 14. Game 1 is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT with Reynaldo Lopez (7-9, 3.94 ERA) slated to start. Game 2 is set to begin at 7:10 p.m., with Lucas Giolito (10-12, 5.81) taking the hill. Jose Berrios (11-11, 3.93) and Chase De Jong (0-1, 3.86) are Minnesota's scheduled starters.
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.