Samardzija received plenty of help from the White Sox offense, which launched four home runs, including one from each side of the plate from Melky Cabrera. Alexei Ramirez and Adam Eaton also went deep for Chicago, which tagged Tribe starter Trevor Bauer for six runs on six hits (three homers) in his six-inning loss.
Cleveland's lone breakthrough against Samardzija came in the sixth inning, courtesy of an RBI single from rookie Francisco Lindor. The big righty ended with three strikeouts, scattering four hits and walking none en route to his seventh win of the year.
"He throws his fastball, angles his fastball really well," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Samardzija. "And he had enough to beat us with it, whether he got it by us with a miss or maybe just where guys didn't get quite extended. He got a lead and did what you're supposed to -- came after guys and threw strikes."
"It's a nice game to have, especially after a tough one yesterday, you come back. Shark was fantastic," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Right out of the gate, he just looked like he had command. Tough lineup to go through, all the lefties, and for him to do that was big for us."
Bauer struck out nine, but slipped to 8-7 for the Indians, who saw their home record drop to 19-27 on the year.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fourth-inning outburst: Bauer entered this series opener having allowed three runs over 20 1/3 innings in three previous starts against the White Sox this season. The White Sox topped that total in the fourth inning alone on Thursday, scoring four times. Cabrera hit a solo shot, and Ramirez launched a three-run homer to left.
"We swung the bat," Ventura said. "Alexei, a big homer that pushed us ahead. Melky swung it great tonight. It was a nice night to have offensively, especially as tough as it's been for these guys. They're having fun swinging the bat, putting it on the barrel, getting some over the fence is even better." More >
Homer prone: Following Chicago's four-run outburst in the fourth, Bauer allowed another homer to open the fifth. Eaton drilled a 1-1 pitch to deep right field, marking his eighth homer of the season. For Bauer, the three blasts gave him 17 homers surrendered in 115 1/3 innings this year. He allowed 16 in 153 innings last year.
"The definition of insanity is you try the same thing over and over and expect different results," Bauer said. "I'm not insane, so clearly there's some adjustments to be made. I guess I'll have to figure it out. Obviously, if I knew, I'd change something already." More >
Cabrera doubles his power: It was July 28, 2014, when Cabrera last hit two homers in a game (for Toronto), taking place at Boston. That also was the last time the switch-hitter homered from both sides of the plate, as he did on Thursday. The last White Sox batter to do so in a game was Nick Swisher, who belted a pair against Cleveland on June 30, 2008.
Bourn does his part: It's no secret that Indians center fielder Michael Bourn has been struggling lately (.162 average and .404 OPS in his past 35 games, entering Thursday). Against the White Sox, though, Bourn tried to ignite the offense. He doubled in the third inning, but was stranded. In the sixth, Bourn singled and scored on Lindor's hit. In the process, Bourn improved to .500 (8-for-16) in his career against Samardzija.
"I didn't see a change in his stuff. I thought he held his stuff pretty good. Even after he gave up the runs, he went back out and had a bunch of strikeouts and kept them off-balance. I just thought he got a little predictable in the way he was attacking them. He left some pitches that were real hittable." -- Francona, on Bauer's outing
"I try to contribute to the team's success and to the team having a chance to win, and I'm not doing that right now. And that's the worst part about it." -- Bauer
"With the Cubs, it was a long dragged out process. There was a lot of speculation for about a year and that was tough. After you've done it a couple of times, you realize it is out of your hands. Just go out and do your job." -- Samardzija, on the possibility of being traded
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:Jose Quintana takes the mound for his 20th start this season and 11th on the road on Friday at 6:10 p.m. CT. He is 2-4 with a 3.14 ERA over his last 10 starts, adding in 57 strikeouts over 66 innings. Quintana also leads the Majors with 45 no-decisions since 2012.
Indians: Reigning American League Cy Young Award-winner Corey Kluber (5-10, 3.38 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Indians in their 7:10 p.m. ET tilt against the White Sox on Friday night. Kluber has gone 5-5 with a 2.62 ERA, 113 strikeouts and 18 walks in his last 13 starts (96 1/3 innings). He is 0-1 with a 4.20 ERA in two starts against Chicago this year.