Chicago White Sox right-hander Vince Velasquez credits a stronger mental approach for a recent run of success that includes wins in two straight starts.
Velasquez finds he’s better able to remain in the present, a trait he’ll aim to channel Wednesday afternoon as the White Sox try for a series victory against the visiting Cleveland Indians.
“I’ve always been one of those guys that would kind of let things kind of spiral and I just think, ‘I still have another out to get, there’s another batter to face.’ And staying on task,” Velasquez said.
“Things will obviously kind of get out of hand here or there, but that’s when you have to have that mental control of what you’re good at and what’s working and kind of go based off of that. It’s just a sense of awareness, knowing what’s working and staying on task.”
Chicago defeated Cleveland 4-1 on Tuesday to even the three-game series at a game apiece while earning its first victory against the Guardians in five tries this season.
White Sox leadoff man Tim Anderson collected three hits and two RBIs, Luis Robert had two hits to extend his hitting streak to nine games and Gavin Sheets homered for the second straight game. The White Sox have won seven of eight.
After committing four errors Monday in a 12-9 loss in 11 innings, the White Sox had zero errors Tuesday and turned a double play.
“We’ve had some breakdowns, for whatever the reasons,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “I’m confident we’re a good enough defensive club and we’ll get better.”
Josh Naylor is 5-for-9 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the series for Cleveland, which is 8-3 in its past 11 games. Amed Rosario is 6-for-9 in the series, but still is seeking his first extra-base hit since April 25.
Naylor connected for a solo home run for the Guardians’ lone run of the game Tuesday. One night earlier, he steered a 12-9, 11-inning comeback win by becoming the first player in major-league history to hit two home runs of at least three runs in the ninth inning or later of the same game.
“I’m ready for every challenge,” Naylor said. “We’re all ready for every challenge on this team. It doesn’t matter who’s on the mound. It doesn’t matter if it’s Nolan Ryan. We’re ready for it.”
Velasquez (2-2, 3.97 ERA) won his second straight start Friday with five innings of one-run, three-hit ball at Boston. He walked two and struck out two.
In three career starts against Cleveland, Velasquez is 1-2 with a 1.59 ERA. He has 17 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Aaron Civale (1-2, 9.45) is set to get the call for the Guardians. Civale earned his first win of the season on Thursday with 5 2/3 innings of four-run, six-hit ball.
He is 4-3 with a 5.14 ERA in seven career starts against the White Sox, with 35 strikeouts and eight home runs allowed over 35 innings.
–Field Level Media