ChiSox end 5-game skid, beat Nats behind Cabrera, Gonzalez
CHICAGO (AP) Todd Frazier wondered if going to church more would help the White Sox break out of their funk. Then the Chicago third baseman suggested a scuffle with teammate Adam Eaton.
''I'll put him on a hook here,'' Frazier said, smiling. ''They'll say, `What are you doing?' Well, Fraze is trying to shake things up.''
A few hours later, the White Sox found a way to win with Eaton staying on the ground.
Melky Cabrera doubled twice and drove in two runs, Miguel Gonzalez pitched six strong innings after securing a rotation spot and the White Sox held off the Washington Nationals 3-1 on Thursday night to snap a five-game skid.
How much did the White Sox need this win?
''Big time. Bad,'' catcher Dioner Navarro said. ''We've been scuffling. We are in a bad spot right now, but we know what it takes. Today, baby steps.''
Gonzalez (1-1) won his first game with Chicago after losing seven straight decisions dating to last season with Baltimore. The right-hander retired the first 12 batters he faced, giving up three hits and a run.
The White Sox gave Gonzalez the No. 5 starting spot after designating Mat Latos for assignment before the game.
''They've given me the opportunity to start games and I'm happy,'' Gonzalez said.
Brett Lawrie added an RBI double in a three-run first off Gio Gonzalez (3-5), who struck out 10 in 6 2/3 innings.
Daniel Murphy hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Nationals, whose three-game winning streak was snapped.
''It was a good road trip,'' Nats manager Dusty Baker said. ''We wanted a great one. When you go 6-3 on the road, that's considered good.''
Gio Gonzalez walked two straight in the first before allowing two-out doubles on consecutive pitches to Cabrera and Lawrie.
The Washington lefty then retired 11 straight. He gave up five hits in seven innings.
David Robertson worked around two hits in the ninth for his 14th save in 16 tries. Murphy hoped his game-ending liner to left would fall.
''Then when I saw Melky go after it, I wanted him to fall,'' Murphy said. ''He made a really nice play.''
Filling in for injured Carlos Rodon in the rotation, Miguel Gonzalez shined on a busy day.
Looking for answers to a 6-20 stretch that saw them go from six games up in the AL Central to fourth place, the White Sox cut the struggling Latos and signed veteran lefty hitter Justin Morneau. The former AL MVP won't be ready to play until after the All-Star break due to offseason elbow surgery.
Gonzalez had great movement on his fastball early, striking out five through four innings, until Murphy's shot to right made it 3-1.
He worked out of a sixth-inning jam with the help of shortstop Tyler Saladino, who threw out Jose Lobaton at the plate on a grounder.
''He was fantastic,'' manager Robin Ventura said of Gonzalez. ''It's what we needed.''
Nationals: OF Ben Revere and C Wilson Ramos had scheduled days off.
White Sox: Morneau, the 2014 NL batting champion, said his left elbow hurt every time he swung last season in Colorado. ''It feels good now,'' Morneau said. ''I think that's part of the reason I wanted to come back.'' . Rodon (neck) could start Sunday against Kansas City.
Chicago GM Rick Hahn was asked about Ventura's job status.
''I don't think you've ever see me telegraph any move or comment on any individual player, or anybody in uniform,'' Hahn said.
Ventura shook off a similar question.
''You guys have been asking that all year, so that part hasn't changed,'' he said.
Nationals: Carter Kieboom, a high school SS from Marietta, Georgia, was taken with the 28th pick and RHP Dane Dunning of Florida went 29th.
White Sox: C Zack Collins of Miami was selected with the 10th pick and RHP Zach Burdi of Louisville went 26th.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-0, 2.85 ERA) seeks to win his 13th straight decision Friday night to kick off a six-game homestand against Philadelphia and RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.80).
White Sox: RHP Chris Sale (9-2, 2.54), who hasn't won since May 19, faces Kansas City RHP Ian Kennedy (4-4, 3.44). The Royals bring a seven-game losing streak to Chicago.