For a low-scoring ballgame through seven innings, it certainly was a long one. However, thanks to a combined late-inning offensive effort and gutsy start from Carlos Rodon, the White Sox took care of the Blue Jays in the first game of their series by a score of 6-1.
The White Sox were held quiet for a majority of the ball game – until the seventh, that is, when Andrew Vaughn tied the game with a solo shot to right, giving him five for the year. The eighth inning was the White Sox’ best friend, as they teed off on a plethora of Blue Jays relievers, including former Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. Andrew Vaughn got the party started with a near grand slam, that was hauled in in centerfield, but gave the Sox a 2-1 lead. Adam Eaton and Leury Garcia would follow with huge hits, while Tim Anderson put a staple on the inning with a sac fly.
Carlos Rodon did not have his best stuff, as he eclipsed 100 pitches in five innings, surrendering just one run and six hits, but he struck out eight. Garrett Crochet was also excellent in relief, striking out two in an inning of work.
Thanks to the instant offensive spark late and a solid shutdown from the bullpen for four innings, the Sox improve to 37-23, maintaining a 4.0 game lead on the Cleveland Indians.
Andrew Vaughn: 1-3, 2 RBI, run, walk
Some will argue the Sox got lucky with Andrew Vaughn. He’s been a solid fill for Eloy, he has a good approach at the plate and is a really good defensive player. All that doesn’t mean the Sox got lucky; it means Vaughn is a really good ballplayer, and tonight it showed.
Leury Garcia: 2-4, 2 RBI, 3B
Leury Garcia dished out the dagger blow in the bottom of the eighth, with a two-run triple scoring Grandal and pinch-hitter Adam Eaton. Garcia’s triple was his second of the season and gives him 19 RBI on the season.
Carlos Rodon: 5.0 IP, 8 K, 2 BB, 1 ER, 15 Swinging Strikes
Rodon did not have his best stuff tonight. However, if you told any Sox fan, in March, that Carlos Rodon would be 5-2 with 88 strikeouts and a 1.96 ERA, in early June, they’d think you’re crazy. He battled all night, and the Sox helped him out to a no-decision. Performances like this one show that Rodon really has taken a step forward this season.
Matchup of the Game
The game was really hanging in the balance in the top of the fifth. With the White Sox really unable to get anything going on offense and Rodon over 100 pitches, they were in a little bit of trouble. With runners on first and third and two outs for the Blue Jays, Rodon fell behind Teoscar Hernandez 3-0. However, the Blue Jays OF swung at Rodon’s 3-0 offering, lifting a fly ball to CF that would end the last true Blue Jays’ threat in the ballgame.
Player of the Game
Andrew Vaughn was last night’s Player of the Game. He was just the spark the Sox needed to get things going, despite it being late in the game. Hopefully, Vaughn can continue to grow into his role as a very good ballplayer for the Sox for a very long time.
The White Sox will get set for game two of three tonight, with Lance Lynn on the hill this evening against Alek Manoah. Lynn has been the biggest acquisition for the White Sox this season, as he is 7-1 with a 1.23 ERA. The White Sox struggle with Toronto historically, so locking up a series win would be a nice sight. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 CDT, on NBC Sports Chicago and the MyTeams app.