CLEVELAND — The White Sox waited three days to play baseball Wednesday.
And when they played, after two days of sitting in Cleveland because of two postponed games, it looked like they hadn’t played in three weeks. In one of the worst displays of defensive baseball seen in recent memory, the Sox infield made four errors in the first two innings and left-hander Dallas Keuchel allowed eight consecutive hits, all singles except for a Jose Ramirez grand slam.
One of the hits was originally scored an error on first baseman Jose Abreu, failing to backhand a ground ball he probably should have had. The official scorer’s change cut the Sox total of errors from five to four.
The defensive fiasco started with bad throws by shortstop Tim Anderson and third baseman Jake Burger on the Guardians’ first two at-bats. Abreu was in position for a backhand scoop of Burger’s throw made on the run, but he failed to glove the ball. Anderson made two more fielding errors in the second as the Sox fell behind 10-0 against Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber.
The Sox entered with a 6-3 record, having won each of their first three series against the Tigers, Mariners and Rays. Monday’s game in Cleveland was called off because of snow, and Tuesday’s was postponed because of cold and poor field conditions. Wednesday’s game, the first of a doubleheader, was played under sunny skies and temperatures in the low 50s.
Keuchel was charged with 10 runs (eight earned) on eight hits. He struck out one batter and walked none. He threw 48 pitches, 32 for strikes.
His replacement, 30-year-old rookie lefty Tanner Banks, was much better with four perfect innings. Banks struck out two and threw 37 of 49 pitches for strikes while keeping his ERA at 0.00 over four appearances and 9 1/3 innings.
Anderson did make a nice play from deep in the hole in the fourth inning and center fielder Luis Robert followed by making a running catch at the wall. And Anderson stabbed a one-hopper on his backhand in the seventh for another nice play.
Bieber, meanwhile, cruised with six innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and walking none while allowing four hits, one of them an RBI double by Anderson.