Palka, Engel hit back-back HRs as White Sox beat Brewers 6-1
CHICAGO (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers began the day with the best record in the National League and a chance to win their seventh consecutive series.
They still own the top mark in the NL. The series streak is over, though.
Daniel Palka and Adam Engel hit back-to-back homers in a three-run sixth inning, and the Chicago White Sox beat Milwaukee 6-1 on Sunday.
The NL Central-leading Brewers dropped two of three against the team with the second-worst record in the majors after winning six straight series following a two-game split with Cleveland last month. They are also 4-14 in their past 18 games against Chicago.
"If we can have this discussion in four weeks again, I'll be happy," manager Craig Counsell said.
The Indians hadn't lost a series since they dropped two of three to Pittsburgh May 4-6. But the shots by Palka and Engel in the sixth changed that.
The game was tied 1-1 with one out when Palka — batting for Jose Rondon — hit a long two-run homer to right against Matt Albers.
Engel made it 4-1 two pitches later with a drive off the top of the center-field wall, just beyond a leaping Lorenzo Cain. Jose Abreu and Engel each had RBI doubles in the eighth, and the White Sox came away with the win after dropping five of six.
"(The Brewers) are a very, very good ballclub," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "They've been showing it all year long. Is it a boost for us? Absolutely. Any time you play a very good ballclub and you're able to take a couple from them in a three-game series, you're showing you're fighting and you're able to do it."
Chicago's Dylan Covey and Milwaukee's Brent Suter (5-4) each went five-plus innings.
Covey gave up one unearned run and four hits. He struck out seven and walked three before Domingo Santana chased him with a leadoff single in the sixth.
Luis Avilan got a pinch-hitting Ryan Braun to line into a double play before giving up a single to Jonathan Villar.
Chris Volstad (1-3) came in and catcher Alfredo Gonzalez threw out Villar trying to steal second with Manny Pina batting. Joakim Soria, Jace Fry and Chris Beck each worked a scoreless inning.
Suter gave up two runs and three hits after winning his previous three starts. But Milwaukee came up short.
"It's not like we're worried or anything," Santana said. "I mean, we still have four months (to play)."
Gonzalez soaked in the moment after lining an RBI single to left in the fifth inning for his first major league hit . He clapped, pumped his fists and smiled as the crowd gave him a warm reception.
Brewers: 1B Eric Thames (torn ligament in left thumb) will begin a rehab assignment with extended spring training games Monday and Tuesday in Arizona, manager Craig Counsell said. ... INF Tyler Saladino (sprained left ankle) said he has made "some progress," though it's "too early to say" when he will resume baseball activities.
White Sox: The White Sox weren't ready to say if LHP Carlos Rodon (shoulder) will be activated for the first time this season after he threw five innings in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday. "We'll still have a discussion and see when that happens," Renteria said. Rodon has made four rehab starts and three with Charlotte as he works his way back from surgery on his pitching shoulder in September.
Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (3-3, 2.65 ERA) looks to continue a run of strong starts as Milwaukee opens a two-game series at Cleveland on Tuesday. He has a 2.01 ERA in his past four starts. RHP Corey Kluber (8-2, 2.02) pitches for the Indians.
White Sox: The White Sox open a four-game series at Minnesota with a doubleheader on Tuesday, with RHP Reynaldo López (1-4, 3.80) starting the opener and RHP Lucas Giolito (3-6, 7.53) the nightcap. Both pitchers struggled in losses at Cleveland last week, with Lopez getting tagged for seven runs over 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday after Giolito gave up five runs in six innings the previous night. Lopez is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in six road starts. The Twins have not announced their starters.