White Sox 5, Royals 3: Robert’s Clutch Homer Saves the Day

Tonight felt like one of those nights that just dooms a baseball season. Or at the very least, it would anger fans and put extra pressure on the players. Luis Robert changed that sinking feeling with one powerful swing, and the White Sox overcame an eighth-inning collapse to secure the 5-3 win.

It’s been a tumultuous season on the bump for the White Sox, as the starting rotation has had to weather injuries to Lance Lynn and two, now potentially three, missed starts from Lucas Giolito. Vince Velazquez and Dallas Keuchel have had a couple impressive outings, but on the whole have been terrible. Hopefully that will change with more showings like this by Johnny Cueto. The 36 year-old righty had struggled at Triple-A Charlotte, but delivered a vintage performance in Kansas City tonight. Cueto looked sharp from the first batter, recording three perfect innings before an eventual final line of 6.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K.

Unfortunately, Kendall Graveman could not hold the lead in the eighth, allowing three runs on a Whit Merrifield double and Andrew Benintendi single. The Sox couldn’t score in the ninth, but Ryan Burr calmly sent the game into extras. Things then looked bleak when the South Siders recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the tenth, but La Pantera then came through with a 1-2 bomb to left-center. Liam Hendriks struck out the side in in the bottom half of the frame to give Chicago a much-needed victory.

W: Ryan Burr (1-1) | L: Scott Barlow (2-1) | S: Liam Hendriks (10)


StatCast Breakdown


Box Score

Offensive Recap:

Pitching Recap:

White Sox Scoring Recap:

Top 3rd: Andrew Vaughn flies out to RF. Adam Engel scores. 1-0 White Sox
Top 4th: Yasmani Grandal homers (2) to right field. Luis Robert scores. 3-0 White Sox
Top 10th: Luis Robert homers (5) to left field. Josh Harrison scores. 5-3 White Sox


Notable Performances

Johnny Cueto: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Cueto faced a little bit of trouble in the sixth inning after an 11-pitch walk to Whit Merrifield. However, ever the experienced vet, Cueto got the next two hitters in order to end his stellar outing. His arrival couldn’t come at a more opportune time, as Lucas Giolito may miss tomorrow’s start due to COVID-19, and the White Sox are in a stretch of eight games in seven days.

Luis Robert: 2-for-5, HR (3), 2 RBI, 2 R

How awesome is this guy? Robert had hit some clutch home runs already in this short season, and came through once more with his team’s back up against the wall. Scott Barlow was dealing on the mound, having notched five straight outs to start his night and earning two strikes on the young center fielder. But Robert got all of a hung slider and totally turned the game on its head.

Yasmani Grandal: 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 1 R

Grandal, albeit in a shortened season, had a historically good offensive campaign last year, yet he came into tonight boasting just a .503 OPS in mid-May. Tonight could be the night to catapult him, as he pummeled a slider into the right field bullpen in the fourth inning before getting another hit in extras.

Liam Hendriks: 1.0 IP, 3 PA, 3 K

This was a vintage dominant Liam performance, as the Australian gave Sox fans no worries in the tenth inning with a flawless frame.


The Next Matchup

The White Sox face an important double header on Tuesday, with Dylan Cease set to oppose the Royals, whose pitcher is pending, in the first game. It is unclear who is pitching the second game for the White Sox.

That contest will begin at 1:10pm CT, with the second leg scheduled for 6:10pm CT.

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