Defense keeps Sox in Game 1, but falters late

Chicago throws out three runners at plate in loss

Defense keeps Sox in Game 1, but falters late

CHICAGO -- At one point during the Reds' 10-4 victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader with the White Sox Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field, the contest was scoreless.

Reds starter Johnny Cueto was a major reason for the White Sox having no runs through five innings. For the White Sox, it was their defense that helped keep the Reds scoreless. Yes, it was the same defense that has been maligned through much of this 2015 season.

In the third, the Reds' Todd Frazier was running from second to third on the Scott Carroll pitch to Brandon Phillips, who tapped the ball out in front of the plate. Catcher Tyler Flowers made the play to first, but Frazier kept coming home with Flowers out of position.

Abreu's heads-up play

Flowers made it back, took the throw from first baseman Jose Abreu and tagged out Frazier for the rare 2-3-2 double play. In the fourth, it was Avisail Garcia nailing Zack Cozart at the plate on Skip Schumaker's short fly ball to right. Flowers also tagged out Schumaker trying to score from third with one out in the eighth on a Zach Putnam wild pitch that bounced right back to him.

"They had guys running all over the place so we actually did well to stay within it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "There's a lot of plays at the plate. There's too many of those, just guys running all over the field."

"There were some big plays by Avi throwing him out. The play by Jose getting him out at home as well was a big play," Carroll said. "It's unfortunate we couldn't capitalize, but I just tip my cap to them for playing so well."

That strong White Sox defense disappeared in the sixth with runners on first and third and one out. Cozart hit a ground ball to shortstop Alexei Ramirez that had the makings of an inning-ending double play. But the play was slow developing, allowing Cozart to beat the relay from Micah Johnson. The errant relay throw from Johnson sent Cozart to second, and he scored on Schumaker's double.

The White Sox also had three wild pitches and a passed ball charged to Flowers, along with eight walks issued by four White Sox pitchers.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.