Elvis Andrus knows he’ll one day miss playing at Progressive Field. The Guardians won’t miss him. Andrus, who has tortured Cleveland pitching throughout his career, hit a two-run single after Chicago tied it in the ninth inning on consecutive throwing errors by rookie Bryan Rocchio, sending the White Sox to a 5-3 win Sunday. Andrus went 3 for 5, raising his career average to .376 (74 for 197) with nine homers, 30 RBI and 36 runs in Cleveland. While he was with Texas from 2009 to 2020, the 34-year-old had a 39-game hitting streak here. “I don’t know, man,” Andrus said when asked about his success in Cleveland. “Each player has his own ballpark where he feels comfortable. I try to tell myself I wish I could hit like I do here in every ballpark.” Chicago’s late comeback came one day after a nasty benches-clearing brawl between the AL Central rivals. There was no carryover from Saturday night’s melee, triggered by a fight between Chicago’s Tim Anderson and Cleveland’s José Ramírez that escalated quickly. There were six total ejections. Major League Baseball is still reviewing the Anderson-Ramírez altercation — they are both facing lengthy suspensions — along with subsequent flareups, before handing out discipline.
The White Sox were down to their final strike in the series finale before rallying against All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase (1-6). Chicago loaded the bases on two singles and the first error by Rocchio, filling in at third base for Ramírez.Rocchio charged and made a barehanded play on a bouncer, but his throw to first was short and Kole Calhoun, acquired in a trade Friday from the Los Angeles Dodgers and making his first start at the position since 2013, couldn’t handle it. Zach Remillard followed with a hard smash that Rocchio backhanded. However, his long throw was in the dirt and again Calhoun couldn’t make the pick, allowing the White Sox to tie it. Calhoun felt he let his new teammates down. “Both of those balls had to be caught,” the 35-year-old Calhoun said. “Both of those win the game and Rocchio made two really good plays and they’ve got to be finished. So that’s on me. I was asked before the inning if they wanted me to take me out and I said, ‘No.’ So that was my call to go back out there for the ninth inning. “And so having it come down to those two plays, make one of those, and we win the game. It’s tough.” The Guardians are short at first after trading Josh Bell last week and with Josh Naylor expected to miss weeks with an oblique strain. Sammy Peralta (1-0) got his first career win, and Jimmy Lambert worked the ninth for his first career save. Rookie Gabriel Arias hit a two-run homer for the Guardians, who went 5-8 against the White Sox this season.
On Saturday, Anderson threw the first punch before being knocked down by a blind right hook from Cleveland’s All-Star third baseman. Both players were ejected, along with Cleveland manager Terry Francona, third base coach Mike Sarbaugh, Clase and Chicago manager Pedro Grifol. Anderson was not in Chicago’s lineup and Grifol insisted it was a scheduled off day and had nothing to do with the fight or the shortstop’s behavior — he initially left the field before returning as he sought revenge. Ramírez started at DH and went 1 for 3 with a double and two stolen bases. Ramírez received a louder ovation from the Progressive Field crowd than usual for his first at-bat. A fan sitting down the right-field line clapped while wearing oversized red boxing gloves and another wore a homemade T-shirt with “Down Goes Anderson” on the back, a nod to Guardians broadcaster Tom Hamilton’s call of the sixth-inning fight.