Following three straight victories over last-place Kansas City, Chicago looked to complete a sweep of the Royals today. Dallas Keuchel pitched five solid innings, but exited the game after experiencing back tightness warming up before the bottom half of the sixth. Not panicking, the boys in gray pushed their lead to 5-0 with an Edwin Encarnacion homer and never looked back. With this weekend’s sweep, the White Sox maintain a half-game lead over Cleveland and a 1.5-game margin over Minnesota.
W: Dallas Keuchel (6-2) | L: Matt Harvey (0-3)
Dallas Keuchel: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 2 H, 0 BB, 49 pitches
Keuchel entered today with a sparkling 2.42 ERA, and left with a 2.19 ERA after five smooth innings. Sadly, though he was on pace for a complete game, he exited with lower back stiffness before the sixth. It’s hard to underscore how important Dallas has been to this team, so the White Sox are certainly hoping he can make his next start at full health. Keuchel did mention feeling back stiffness after his outing against the Cardinals a couple weeks ago, so this might be a nagging issue for him.
Edwin Encarnacion: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI
Despite a rough start to the season, Edwin has been decent in August, with his three-run blast upping his home run total to eight in 2020. A Parrot revival would likely make Chicago’s middle of the order the most lethal in baseball.
Yasmani Grandal: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 2B
Grandal had another solid day at the plate today, notching 2 RBIs amidst reaching base three times. He’s quietly been one of the White Sox’s best hitters since August 1.
Jose Abreu continued his MVP-worthy season by extending his hit streak to a remarkable 20 games. Luis Robert walked twice, Jimmy Cordero pitched a scoreless inning, and Nomar Mazara recorded four hard-hit balls according to Statcast. Alex McRae, a tenth-round pick in 2014, made his White Sox debut and shut the door with a two-strikeout ninth. Matt Harvey – yes, that Matt Harvey – pitched 2.1 IP for Kansas City to start the game, yielding just one run.
Moment of the Game
Highly-touted Royals flamethrower Josh Staumont strutted into the game in the seventh inning expecting to keep the contest close. One out and a three-run homer later, he was yanked. Take it away, Parrot.
We have splashdown!
Distance: 448 feet
Exit velo: 109.4 mph
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) September 6, 2020
Player of the Game
It’s tough to exclude Encarnacion, but Keuchel was simply wonderful today. At 49 pitches, 2 hits, and no walks through 5 innings, a complete game shutout was very much in play for the former Cy Young winner. Dallas might not get much done with the strikeout, but opposing offenses turn into ground-ball out machines against him.
The South Siders get an off-day tomorrow before flying to Pittsburgh for a mid-week two-game set. Dylan Cease (5-2, 3.29 ERA) is set to square off Tuesday against the Pirates’ Joe Musgrove (0-4, 6.62 ERA) on NBCS Chicago.