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May 9, 2024 2:41 am

Guardians visit lowly White Sox for four games

david fry

David Fry only occasionally finds himself in the starting lineup, but the utilityman might be the Cleveland Guardians’ most indispensable player.

Fry could play a key role again when the Guardians begin a four-game series against the host Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

Cleveland is 24-13 after winning four of its last five games, while Chicago owns the American League’s worst record at 9-28.

The White Sox avoided a three-game series sweep against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 4-1 victory on Wednesday. Chris Flexen set the tone with six strong innings and Paul DeJong homered for the second time in two games.

“Clean baseball all the way around.” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “Opportunistic hitting. Really good pitching.”

The Guardians won their ninth series in 12 tries on Wednesday, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-4 in 10 innings. Brayan Rocchio singled home the winning run in the 10th inning after Fry tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth.

Fry has played four different positions this season while batting .429 (6-for-14) with one homer and five RBIs in the eighth inning or later.

“I can’t speak enough to what David means to us, being able to catch, play first, play third, play outfield, and obviously come up with clutch hit after clutch hit — and he’s not playing every day,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “He’s just a baseball player, and David’s invaluable for us.”

Cleveland will send right-hander Ben Lively (1-1, 2.08 ERA) against White Sox right-hander Erick Fedde (2-0, 3.46) in the series opener.

Lively, 32, has allowed a total of five runs across 21 2/3 innings in four starts this season. He yielded one run over six innings in a 7-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels last Saturday.

Lively signed a one-year contract with the Guardians after pitching in 19 games for the Cincinnati Reds last season. He is making his first career appearance against the White Sox.

Fedde, 31, is looking to bounce back after giving up five runs with a season-high five walks over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the St. Louis Cardinals last Saturday.

Fedde posted a 2.40 ERA across 30 innings in five outings last month.

Josh Naylor has a home run in five at-bats against Fedde, who owns a 5.14 ERA in two career games (one start) versus Cleveland.

Naylor is off to an impressive start to the season, batting .270 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.

“I don’t chase results,” Naylor said. “I just chase a good approach and have a good at-bat, quality at-bat for the team, try to get on base any way I can, whether it’s a walk or a hit and get the next guy up.”

The Guardians are beginning a seven-game road trip with the series against Chicago, which has received a welcome spark from third baseman Bryan Ramos.

The 22-year-old Ramos is 5-for-14 in five games since being recalled from Double-A Birmingham. He had two hits in Wednesday’s victory, including an RBI single.

“He doesn’t look overmatched,” White Sox general manager Chris Getz said. “This is a nice opportunity to boost his development.”

–Field Level Media

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