CLEVELAND (AP) — Trevor Bauer pitched seven scoreless innings before a rain delay ended his night, and Jason Kipnis homered to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 6-2 win over the sliding and sloppy Chicago White Sox on Monday.
Bauer (6-5) allowed just three hits, struck out eight and was in line to potentially pitch his first shutout. However, the game was halted by rain in the seventh for 35 minutes, and manager Terry Francona pulled the right-hander following the delay. He had thrown 100 pitches.
Roberto Perez drove in two runs off Dylan Covey (3-2) as Cleveland improved to 15-4 in its last 19 home games against Chicago.
The White Sox committed three errors — one by Covey — in the first three innings, lost their fifth straight and dropped a season-high 23 games under .500.
Matt Davidson homered in the ninth for Chicago.
Chicago’s hitters couldn’t get anything going against Bauer, who struck out 12 in a tough loss against the White Sox and Covey last week. Bauer was bidding to tie a club record held by two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber with his fifth consecutive game of at least 10 strikeouts.
Bauer got to eight, but was denied any more because of a line of storms off Lake Erie and Francona’s decision not to push him further. Bauer has thrown at least 100 pitches in all 16 starts this season.
Perez’s two-run, ground-rule double highlighted Cleveland’s three-run second inning, which was set up by Chicago second baseman Yoan Moncada’s fielding error.
The Indians loaded the bases on two singles and the error before Perez, who came in batting .100 (7 for 70) against right-handers, hit a shot to right that got wedged in the outfield wall’s padding. Kipnis was forced to stay at third, but then scored when Francisco Lindor followed with a sacrifice fly.
Kipnis made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the third, and he hit his fifth homer in the fifth to put Cleveland up by five against Covey, who came in 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in his previous five starts.
MORE THAN A NAME
Looking for bullpen help, the Indians signed veteran reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus. The left-hander previously pitched for Cleveland from 2013-15, appearing in 145 games.
The club currently needs a lefty reliever with both Andrew Miller and Tyler Olson on the disabled list. Rzepczynski could be an option.
“It’s a guy we know,” Francona said. “We’re down to one lefty right now, so it’s a guy that certainly could come here and help. He didn’t sign to stay in Triple-A.”
Francona joked that he still has trouble spelling the lefty’s last name.
“I’ve got it in my phone: Z-E-P,” he said.
White Sox: Manager Rick Renteria said OF Avisail Garcia (strained right hamstring) is progressing well on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte. Garcia’s status will be reassessed after he plays Tuesday and Wednesday. He’s been on the disabled list since May 24.
Indians: OF Bradley Zimmer will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder. Zimmer felt discomfort while throwing after he initially strained the shoulder while doing drills after being sent to Columbus to work on his game. “I don’t think he thought it was anything, and it just didn’t feel good. So, we’re going to go ahead and get him looked at,” Francona said.