Chicago White Sox lose 7-0 to New York Yankees as they ground into 4 double plays and strike out 10 times: ‘It’s been two rough days’

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It’s generally not a good sign when an offense has nearly as many double plays as hits.

That was the case Saturday for the Chicago White Sox in their 7-0 loss to the New York Yankees in front of 14,665 at Yankee Stadium.

The Sox found ways to get on base against Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, but the right-hander showed why he’s one of the best in the American League, inducing four double plays. Cole and two relievers held the Sox to five hits.

“He’s elite,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He’s right up there with the best. But I felt really good about, you look at potential rallies, but four double plays. Put the guy on (three times) leading off, at least two were hit sharply.

“But he pitched to the rollover where the guy pulls it to the pull side, and if you do that a lot of times, unless you get it in the air it’s a double play. We did a good job of getting rallies started, but he had the rally-killer pitch.”

Cole allowed four hits — two to José Abreu — in seven innings, struck out seven and walked three. The Sox struck out 10 times Saturday after striking out 11 times Friday.

“We put some good at-bats together, we just didn’t really have that one big hit for us,” said second baseman Nick Madrigal, who went 2-for-3. “We were seeing him pretty well. We were taking walks, we had a couple chances to score but we just didn’t capitalize on it.”

The Yankees capitalized against Sox starter Dylan Cease, who wasn’t as sharp as in recent outings. The right-hander allowed five runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a season-high four walks in 4⅓ innings.

“The first couple innings were all right, and it just got away from me a little bit,” Cease said. “They did a good job of laying off the slider. If I just execute a little better and get ahead, it’s a different ballgame.

“I do have to tip my cap. They had a lot of good at-bats and they were able to get count leverage later in the game. That was the biggest thing.”

Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres continued to find success against the Sox, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs. He drove in both runs Friday in the Yankees’ 2-1 win, including a game-winning single in the ninth.

He drove in the first two runs Saturday with a double against Cease during a three-run fourth. Cease exited with the bases loaded in the fifth, and Torres greeted reliever Matt Foster with a two-run single to left, extending the lead to 5-0.

Cease (2-1) didn’t make it through five innings for the first time since April 23.

“They made some adjustments and got a clutch double by Torres,” La Russa said. “It was what a good hitting team, a veteran team does. They make adjustments and you adjust back. They put the runs on the board before we could. Dylan overall, he was competing, he wasn’t in awe of Yankee Stadium or anything. But they adjusted, so it’s a lesson.”

The Sox didn’t get the big hits. Instead, batters grounded into double plays in the second, third, fourth and sixth. Yermín Mercedes twice grounded into double plays as the Sox suffered consecutive losses for just the third time this season.

The Sox have scored just once in the series and just three runs in their last three games.

“When a guy (like Cole) makes a pitch and it has movement on your pull (side), you’re going to hit it in the ground,” La Russa said. “If he gets it up, you’re going to hit it in the air. But we made the contact. Two different kind of pitchers. The guy (Friday, Jordan Montgomery) was in command of all his pitches, with all his off-speed stuff, kept us off balance.

“It’s been two rough days. It hasn’t been fun. But I like the way our offense came after them. We never really stopped trying to take advantage. He made the pitches he had to.”