White Sox not a match for Guardians, McKenzie

On the day after the White Sox were essentially eliminated from playoff contention, they looked like a team that was never really in it, losing 8-2 to the AL Central leading Guardians Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Lance Lynn allowed six runs over six innings but three of the runs were unearned. And from the get-go, the Sox looked flat at third base where Yoan Moncada was involved in three negative results at a hot corner.

Moncada, who has played good defense this season, took his time on Amed Rosario’s ground ball that the hustling Rosario beat out for a hit in the first inning. After Lynn walked Josh Naylor, Moncada almost made amends stepping on third and throwing across his body for an attempted double play but Jose Abreu couldn’t glove the throw on a bounce, allowing Oscar Gonzalez to reach first. Andres Gimenez then bounced an infield single off Moncada.

In the third, left fielder Andrew Vaughn charged in as Moncada peeled off on Josh Naylor’s pop up but dropped it, starting a three-run inning.

Moncada did homer against Triston McKenzie, who struck out 13 and walked none over eight innings of two-run ball. Steven Kwan homered against Lynn and Naylor homered against Jose Ruiz.

The Sox (76-73) dropped to six games behind Cleveland (82-67) with 13 to play.

Cairo learning on the job

Miguel Cairo was hard on himself after the Sox, needing a three-game series sweep against the Guardians to stay in contention, lost 10-7 in 11 innings Tuesday. Perhaps too much so.

“When you win, the players win,” Cairo said Wednesday. “When you lost, I lost. It’s my job to put them in the right, best position to succeed and I didn’t do that. So it was my loss. They battled [Wednesday], they fight, we just came up short. Today’s a new day.

“This is my first time managing so I’m learning a lot.”

The Sox are 13-7 under Cairo and lost two games in a row for the first time since Cairo took over Tony La Russa’s duties.

Robert not in lineup

Luis Robert, who is playing with discomfort in his left wrist when he plays, did not start.

Robert’s wrist gets increasingly sore as games go on from swings, but Cairo said he can’t do more damage to it by playing.

Anderson “will play” before end of season

Tim Anderson, recovering from surgery on the middle finger of his left hand, tracked pitches from Lucas Giolito and moved closer to being activated. It seems more likely Anderson will join the Sox with a minor league rehab assignment, and Cairo said he will definitely play, and play regularly when he returns, this season.

Cease in select company

Dylan Cease, who pitched six innings of one-run ball in a 10-7 loss to Cleveland in 11 innings Tuesday, allowed one earned run or less for the 22nd time this season, the most among MLB starters. Julio Urias of the Dodgers ranks second with 19.

Cease’s 22 starts allowing one earned run or less are one shy of Wilbur Wood’s club record of 23 in 1972. The last MLB starter to allowed one earned run or less 22 or more times was Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell in 2018 (23).

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