Sunday afternoon’s game was a wild one, to say the least. Things started out rough for the White Sox as starting pitcher Michael Kopech exited the game in the first inning with what appears to be a knee injury. However, Reynaldo Lopez would come in and throw briefly before tomorrow’s probable starter, Johnny Cueto, entered the ballgame in the third inning.
This was only Cueto’s second career relief appearance, as his first came with the Giants late last year. The veteran pitched five solid innings, allowing only three earned runs to go along with four strikeouts. The already-taxed bullpen had to buy some more innings in team’s second-straight extra-innings affair. Tanner Banks, Kendall Graveman, Jose Ruiz, and Matt Foster all saw action, with the first two relievers combining for three scoreless innings with a trio of strikeouts.
Offensively, the White Sox struggled after scoring early in the first inning. Jon Gray would shut them down until they got to Garrett Richards in the seventh inning. Andrew Vaughn would deliver an RBI single, which would plate two runs—ultimately tying the game. That would be all the offense until the 11th inning when the Sox would score three in a wild frame.
Overall, this was not a good game for Tony La Russ’s team, and the bullpen usage has become very puzzling. Most notably, closer Liam Hendriks was never up once in this game despite having not pitched since Friday. This theme has become very tiring for all parties involved, and is something that needs to change.
With this loss, the White Sox drop to 27-31 and are six games back of the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins.
W: Barlow (2-1) | L: Foster (1-2) | S: Allard (1)
White Sox Scoring Recap:
- Bottom 1st: Jake Burger singles to shallow center field. Luis Robert scores. 1-0 White Sox.
- Bottom 7th: Andrew Vaughn singles to shallow right field. Danny Mendick scores, Reese McGuire scores. 3-3 Tie.
- Bottom 11th: Seby Zavala sacrifice fly to deep right field. Josh Harrison scores. 6-4 Rangers.
- Bottom 11th: Danny Mendick triples to left-center field. Leury Garcia scores. 6-5 Rangers.
- Bottom 11th: AJ Pollock singles to shallow center field. Danny Mendick scores. 6-6 Tie.
Johnny Cueto: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Cueto came out of relief for only the second time in his career and did not disappoint. He kept the White Sox in the game by allowing only three runs across five innings. In what has been a rather disappointing season for the White Sox so far, Cueto continues to be an unexpected bright spot for the team.
Tanner Banks: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
With the bullpen already taxed and looking for some innings, another guy stepped up to the occasion. That was Banks today, and he did a great job of shutting down the Rangers late in the game. After walking the first two batters he faced, Banks would then retire the next six in order. His performance gave the White Sox the chance to walk it off in the ninth inning.
The White Sox will travel to Detroit and take on the Tigers for three games, beginning on Monday. Lance Lynn is expected to make his long-awaited return and get the nod with Cueto having thrown in today’s game.
First pitch is at 6:10 PM CT and can be viewed on NBC Sports Chicago.
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