MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lance Lynn allowed one run over six innings and hit a two-run single to lift Chicago to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday night as the White Sox avoided a sweep in this series between division leaders.
Lynn (10-3) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked none, outdueling Brandon Woodruff in a matchup of All-Star right-handers. Lynn, who lowered his ERA to 1.91, also keyed a decisive three-run second inning with his bat – his first hit since 2017.
"They both are winners, so it's all good," Lynn said of his pitching and hitting. "A good night. I got lucky, got a hit, drove in two runs, and we won. So that's all it's about."
Michael Kopech pitched a scoreless inning for Chicago and Liam Hendricks tossed two for his 24th save in 28 chances.
Woodruff (7-5) allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking two. His ERA climbed from an NL-best 2.04 to 2.14 — which is just behind teammate Corbin Burnes' 2.12. Woodruff has two losses and two no-decisions in his four starts in July.
"They're a very good club, the Milwaukee Brewers. We had our hands full. We lost two out of three, but we won one," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "This is a big-time win by our club. A lot of guys stepped up. But, enjoy it for the moment, and then it's what's next. Accumulate more wins."
The White Sox, who lead the AL Central by nine games, mustered just enough offense after dropping the first two games against the NL Central-leading Brewers by a combined score of 13-2.
The White Sox scored all three runs in the second with two outs. Brian Goodwin walked and Leury Garcia singled. Seby Zavala followed with an RBI single, with both runners advancing on the throw. Lynn then lofted a single on an 0-2 count into shallow right field to score two more runs.
"Blind squirrel, I guess, or something like that," said Lynn, who leads the majors in ERA. "It wasn't pretty, but it worked."
It was Lynn's first at-bat since April 10, 2019 when he was with Texas and struck out twice against Arizona. It was his first hit since a single on Sept. 28, 2017 for St Louis vs. the Cubs. Lynn had four hits in 54 at-bats that season.
Woodruff said he should have thrown a breaking ball to Lynn, but also was upset with himself for not closing out the inning.
"Any time you have a two-out walk and you give them a free base, for whatever reason it comes back to hurt you," Woodruff said. "That can't happen."
Lynn twice halted potential rallies with crucial strikeouts.
Milwaukee made it 2-1 in the fifth when Tyrone Taylor tripled with one out and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with an RBI double off the wall in right-center. Lynn ended the threat by striking out Woodruff and Kolten Wong.
The Brewers got their first baserunners on consecutive two-out singles by Woodruff and Wong in the third, but Lynn got Christian Yelich on a called third strike.
"He's tough to score against," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We had limited opportunities, a couple of small opportunities and we just didn't get the next hit."
Milwaukee also left two aboard in the sixth and seventh innings.
White Sox: LF Eloy Jimenez, sidelined since late in spring training with a ruptured left pectoral tendon, is expected to be activated Monday and in the lineup at Kansas City, La Russa said. La Russa wasn't sure if Jimenez would play LF or DH. Jimenez played in 10 consecutive games at Triple-A Charlotte through Saturday, only two as a DH.
Brewers: CF Lorenzo Cain, on the IL since June 1 with strained right hamstring, is expected to join the Brewers this week in Pittsburgh, Counsell said. Cain was hitting .240 in eight games at Triple-A Nashville through Saturday.
The White Sox head to Kansas City for a four-game series starting Monday. LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-3, 4.22 ERA) starts for Chicago. He is 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 11 career starts against the Royals. LHP Mike Minor (7-8, 5.45) starts for Kansas City.
Milwaukee is off Monday, then travels to Pittsburgh for three games. LHP Brett Anderson (2-5, 4.26) is scheduled to start Tuesday for Milwaukee vs. LHP Tyler Anderson (5-8, 4.35).
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