An early offensive explosion and a solid outing from Dallas Keuchel led the White Sox to their fourth consecutive victory over the Twins. A line-up without its MVP was still able to get the job done against a struggling Twins pitching staff.
A three-run first inning got the Sox started on the right foot. The Yerminator struck again with a 2-run single in the first off J.A. Happ, and Yasmani Grandal tacked on a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-0 game. Nick Madrigal added the White Sox fourth run on his first major league homer, and then a fifth run on a 4th inning double. A Moncada double added a 6th run and closed the Line on Happ, who has struggled in both outings this season against the White Sox. The Twins bullpen didn’t bring much relief, as Danny Mendick launched a 5th-inning grand slam against reliever Derek Law. Another 4 spot in the 6th brought the White Sox run total to 14 on the night. Another run in the 8th made it 15 for the Sox. Finally, Yermin Mercedes took C Willians Astudillo deep in the 9th to add on. 16 runs later, the White Sox had their victory.
With the win, the White Sox improve to 25-15 on the season.
W: Dallas Keuchel (3-1) | L: J.A. Happ (2-2)
Nick Madrigal: 3-for-5, HR (First career HR), 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Many people said it was impossible. Although maybe improbable, nothing is impossible. After singling in the first against JA Happ, Nick Madrigal ran into an inside fastball in his second AB, and got around quick enough to line it just over the wall in left field for his first big league homer. The ball traveled 389 feet, with an exit velocity of 99.9 MPH. His homer was one of his three hits this evening, and one of his two RBIs. It was great to see Madrigal turn on the ball with authority as well – hopefully he turns it around after a recent rough stretch.
Danny Mendick: 1-for-4, GS, BB, 5 RBI
With the Sox already up 6-1, Danny Mendick decided to add more with his first career grand slam into the left-field bullpen. This missile made it a 10-1 ballgame and put the icing on a strong offensive performance by the White Sox lineup. Mendick continues to provide value every time his name is written in the lineup.
Dallas Keuchel: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 12 Swinging Strikes
Pitching against Minnesota for the second straight outing, Keuchel looked to improve upon the 6 earned runs he allowed in his last start. Keuchel featured much better command of the zone tonight, allowing a run on a Rob Refsnyder double in the 2nd, and later, Josh Donaldson took Keuchel deep in the 6th to make it 14-3. However, with plenty of run support and better control, Keuchel cruised to his 3rd win of the season. These will be the type of starts that will be incredibly important for Keuchel to build upon if the White Sox hope to continue their great results from the staff.
The Rest of the White Sox’ Offense
With Jose Abreu sidelined for the entirety of the Twins series this week, the White Sox were going to need somebody else to step up. The offense stepped up in a big way, recording 16 runs on 18 hits. Everyone in the starting lineup reached base, with Yasmani Grandal (0-for-0, 4 BB, SF) the only starting offensive player that didn’t record a hit.
Matchup of the Game
Today’s matchup is not a single at bat, but the matchup of J.A. Happ vs. the White Sox. In two starts against the White Sox this season, Happ has allowed 15 earned runs in 7 innings and has walked more than he’s struck out (5 BB, 4 K). The White Sox came into tonight having only lost two games started by lefties since 2019, and tonight was no different. In the past week, the White Sox have single-handedly raised Happ’s season ERA by almost 4 runs. The Illinois native will be very glad to face a different team in his next outing.
Player of the Game
Today’s player of the game honors have to go to the White Sox’ newest Home Run Hitter. Madrigal added two more hits to his wonderful night, and finished just a triple shy of the cycle. And surprising to nobody, Madrigal’s homer came with two strikes. Hopefully Nick is able to find a bit of a power stroke and this is his first of many Home Runs in a White Sox uniform.
The White Sox play the middle game of the three-game set in Minnesota on Tuesday night as they look to win their 5th straight against the Twins to open the season. Lance Lynn will get the ball for the good guys against Michael Pineda for the Twins. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm CST and the game will be aired on NBC Sports Chicago.