In an important series in the early-going this season, the White Sox took care of business against division rival Minnesota.
The South Siders started Tuesday’s game treading uphill after starter Dylan Cease allowed three Minnesota runs in the 2nd inning on a home run, hit by pitch, and sacrifice fly. However, he was able to settle in and complete five innings, striking out seven and getting 20 swinging strikes. The good guys didn’t waste any time in answering those runs back when Yasmani Grandal launched a three-run homer to tie up the ballgame.
From there, it was all White Sox. They tacked on two more in the 6th on a Jose Abreu home run, and added two more in both the 7th and 8th innings to pad the 9-3 lead that was more than enough to guide the Sox to a win in the series opener.
With the win, the White Sox improved to 20-13 on the season.
W: Garrett Crochet (1-2) | L: Jorge Alcala (0-1)
Dylan Cease: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 20 Swinging Strikes
Dylan Cease wasn’t as sharp as he has been in recent outings, but he battled through five innings while only allowing three runs in the process. He got more swing and misses than any other start in his career in just five innings, and he commanded the zone just enough to work out of jams. This was a huge development game for Cease, as he was able to battle through not having his best stuff while still keeping the Twins in check.
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, R
Grandal doubters have been coming out in numbers recently (rightfully so), but for tonight at least, those murmurs are a bit quieter. He single-handedly answered the Twins three early runs in the second inning with a three-run shot in the bottom of the frame to tie the game up.
Garrett Crochet: 2/3 IP, K
Tony La Russa called on Crochet to make his first appearance since April 25th in a high-leverage situation with runners on the corners and one out in a 3-3 game. He induced a shallow fly ball to right for out number two before striking out leadoff man Luis Arraez on a filthy slider to keep the game knotted up. It was clear that vintage Crochet was on display, touching 99 MPH and sitting comfortably at 98.
Jose Abreu: 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R
Jose Abreu continues to terrorize the Twins as he put an exclamation point on tonights game with a 105.8 MPH two-run shot to put the Sox ahead 5-3 in the bottom of the 6th. El Pito totaled two hits including a leadoff single in the 2nd inning and scored three runs in the effort.
Tim Anderson: 2-for-5, R, RBI
Tim added a quiet two hits to the barrage of White Sox hitting, including an RBI-single that padded a then 2-run Sox lead in the bottom frame of the 7th. He was anything but quiet own the base paths, however, when he induced a couple pickoff attempts to first before scoring from there on a double.
Matchup of the Game
For a long time, the majority of this game was much closer than the final score indicates as the Sox shut down multiple rally efforts from the Twins. Arguably the biggest instance of this came courtesy of Aaron Bummer in the bottom of the 7th. He relieved Codi Heuer, and after a Nick Madrigal error, faced Williams Astudillo with two outs and the bases loaded with a 5-3 lead. The situation had the potential to bring the Twins right back into the game before Aaron Bummer induced an inning-ending groundout from Astudillo to end the threat.
Player of the Game
Yasmani Grandal is tonight’s player of the game after he broke out of a slump to launch a game-tying home run in the 2nd. Despite just amassing the one hit on the night, Yaz’s home run was huge as it took early Twins momentum and crushed it before they could capitalize, allowing room for both the Sox and Dylan Cease to find a more consistent groove before the offensive onslaught later in the game.
The Sox will continue their homestand with the second game of the Minnesota series with first pitch slated for 7:10 pm CDT. Dallas Keuchel (1-1) will toe the rubber for the White Sox and will be opposed by the veteran Peru, Illinois-native in J.A. Happ (2-0). The game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Chicago.