INDIANS (29-29) AT WHITE SOX (28-30)
2:10 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, ST-OH, MLB.TV
Cleveland Indians pitcher Zach Plesac will try to prove on Sunday that you can indeed go home again.
Plesac (0-0, 1.69 ERA) will make his second major league start when the visiting Indians conclude their four-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Plesac is the nephew of 18-year veteran hurler Dan Plesac, who pitched the majority of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays.
While the two are related — both are from Indiana — there are some glaring differences.
The younger Plesac is a right-handed starting pitcher and grew up a fan of the Chicago White Sox.
Uncle Dan, a southpaw, worked all but 14 of his 1,064 major league appearances out of the bullpen and pitched two seasons for the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona can only hope that Zach Plesac, 24, will repeat his debut from on Tuesday, when he pitched against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Plesac worked 5 1/3 innings and was efficient in earning a no-decision. He allowed one run on four hits, and the Indians earned a 7-5 victory against Francona’s former club.
When the night was over, Plesac was the recipient of a number of gifts — baseballs of his first pitch and strikeout, a lineup card and a letter from Boston lefty David Price.
“He told me congrats on your debut,” said Plesac, who is from Crown Point, Ind., an hour away from Chicago’s South Side. “It was a ‘Good luck, kid,’ kind of thing. It was awesome. It was really cool.”
The White Sox had their five-game winning streak snapped 5-2 by Cleveland on Saturday, mustering just four hits after beating the Indians in the first two games.
The winning streak boosted Chicago into a tie for second place with Cleveland in the American League East, but Saturday’s loss forced them back to third — one game behind the Indians and 11 1/2 back of the Minnesota Twins.
The White Sox were 16-15 in May, and the climb up the standings was due in large part to an offense that averaged six runs a game in the five straight wins to close out the month.
Catcher James McCann said the streak was fun, but Saturday’s loss was deflating.
“You can see the frustration here today,” said McCann, who is hitting .338. “(Saturday’s) game could have very easily gone the other way. It very easily could have been a 5-2 victory for us.
“That’s part of the game. We had a good streak and guys are ready to bounce back (Sunday).”
It will be up to righty Lucas Giolito (7-1, 2.85) to get Chicago the bounce-back win and beat Cleveland for the seventh time in 12 meetings. In three career starts against Cleveland, Giolito is 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA.
Giolito was hit hard in the first inning Tuesday by the Kansas City Royals, yielding three runs, but then reeled off seven scoreless innings and recorded his fifth straight win. He also matched a career high with 10 strikeouts.
Chicago made a roster move by reinstating backup catcher Welington Castillo from the seven-day concussion list prior to Saturday’s game.
Castillo, a 10-year veteran hitting just .176 this season, slotted into the roster spot taken by catcher Seby Zavala, who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.
–Field Level Media