The White Sox ended the first half of 2021 on a high note, completing a series and season sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. A solid outing by Dylan Cease was backed by timely hitting as the White Sox will finish 7-0 against the birds in 2021. The White Sox also remain undefeated this season in games that I write the recap, so there’s that as well.
After struggling in his last couple outings, Dylan Cease looked much better this afternoon in Baltimore. Cedric Mullins led off the ballgame with a bunt single, followed by an Austin Hays HR, and the Orioles didn’t record another hit until the 9th inning. The White Sox offense took a few innings to get going after a couple of early base running blunders, but Andrew Vaughn launched a pair of homers to lead the charge. Michael Kopech, Codi Heuer, and Garrett Crochet got the job done out of the bullpen, but a single and a pinch hit homer by Trey Mancini tied the game in the 9th off Liam Hendriks. Fortunately, Adam Engel came up clutch again, crushing a 3-run bomb in extras to secure the victory.
With the win, the White Sox close the first half of the season at 54-35, and carry an 8-game AL Central lead into the break.
W: Liam Hendriks (4-2) | L: Tyler Wells (2-1) | S: Matt Foster (1)
Dylan Cease: 5IP, 2ER, 2H, 2BB, 6K, 11 Swinging Strikes
After a rough outing in Minnesota on Monday, Cease had much better stuff in his final outing before the break. Following the bunt single and the homer, Dylan cruised the rest of the way through five innings. Cease lowered his season ERA to a respectable 4.11. He left after just 85 pitches, but La Russa likely just didn’t want to risk an injury immediately before the break. Dylan got the job done, and can hopefully carry over some of today’s momentum into the second half.
Andrew Vaughn: 2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Andrew Vaughn drove in four of the seven White Sox runs this afternoon and carried the load for the offense. His first home run traveled 447 feet and left the bat at almost 109 mph. 447 feet marks the longest homer of Andrew’s young career.
Adam Engel: Go-Ahead 3-Run Homer
Adam Engel continued his run of timely hitting since his return from the IL, launching a go-ahead homer off Orioles reliever Tyler Wells to give the Sox the lead in extra innings.
Michael Kopech and Garrett Crochet: 2IP, 0H, 0BB, 5K
The White Sox bullpen was tasked with getting 12 outs and protecting a 2-run lead. Michael Kopech and Garrett Crochet were both thrown into high-leverage situations and got the job done. The bullpen had its struggles in the first half of the season overall, but it was refreshing to see a pair of the Sox young arms head to the break on a high note.
Matchup of the Game
Trying to protect a 2-1 lead in the top of the 6th, the Orioles brought in right-hander Cole Sulser to face Andrew Vaughn with two on and one out. After fouling off a fastball down the middle, Vaughn got another hittable fastball and connected for his second HR of the ballgame to give the White Sox the lead. Vaughn has really started to hit righties better lately after struggling with them early in the season, as he reached double digit HRs in the first half.
The White Sox begin the second half of the season on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field as the Astros come to town for a 3-game series. Neither team has announced their starting pitchers for the series. Friday’s game begins at 7:10pm Central Time and will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago.
Tune in to the all-star game on Tuesday evening to see Carlos Rodon, Lance Lynn, Liam Hendriks, and Tim Anderson represent the good guys in Denver!