CHICAGO – Over his previous six starts before Saturday, he was everything the White Sox hoped he would be when the signed him to be a veteran presence in the White Sox rotation.
Ivan Nova has delivered multiple innings quality starts from mid-July on and has emerged as the most consistent starter on what still is a young and sometimes patchwork rotation. In August, he’s been exceptional, Entering his start against the Rangers at Guaranteed Rate Field with a 3-0 record and a 0.99 ERA, getting the job done even if it’s not in the prettiest ways.
On Saturday, Nova didn’t change at all in his performance against Texas, but the offense failed to pick him up to end his win streak.
For the first time since July 17th, the starter took a loss in a game he began despite the fact that he allowed just two runs over the course of 5 2/3 innings. Starting with Kolby Allard and aided by a pair of bullpen arms, the Rangers struck out 14 White Sox in a 4-0 victory Saturday night.
A two-run homer by Willie Calhoun in the sixth inning was enough to doom Nova to defeat, and Danny Santana’s two-run shot in the seventh of Jimmy Cordero was more than enough insurance to give Texas their first victory of the four-game series.
Nova scattered four hits in his first five innings of work before he ran into his first trouble in the sixth. He started off that inning with a strikeout of Santana but then got a bad break when Tim Anderson was wild with his throw to first on a hit by Elvis Andrus.
He then tried to steal second, which he was successful, and a bad throw by James McCann allowed him to get third. Calhoun then worked Nova in an eight-pitch at-bat, hitting the last one down the line in right for the two-run homer.
It’s all Allard and the rest of the Rangers’ staff would need for insurance. The starter struck out eight batters over 6 1/3 innings, with Rafael Montero got four and Jose Leclerc two to finish out the shutout.
For the first time in a month-and-a-half, Nova walked out of the park with a loss, but he once again gave the White Sox a good chance to come home with the victory.