The White Sox’ Wednesday rubber match with Seattle got off to an undoubtedly rocky start.
After two scoreless innings from both starting pitchers (not to mention seven straight strikeouts to open the game from Luis Castillo), the Mariners pounced on the recently activated Michael Kopech in the 3rd inning. Seattle’s phenom Julio Rodriguez kicked off the scoring with a towering RBI double to deep center field, followed by a Mitch Haniger RBI sacrifice fly and a monster two-run homerun (425 feet) by Eugenio Suárez. Things looked bleak for Chicago trailing 4-0 after three frames.
Enter Eloy Jiménez. In the next half-inning, the slugger deposited a hanging slider deep into the left field seats for a two-run moonshot, scoring José Abreu and cutting the Mariner lead in half. He would step up to the plate two innings later in another big spot, this time pulling a ground ball down the left field line for an RBI double (scored Elvis Andrus) to tie the game at 4-4.
Chicago didn’t stop there, tacking on another five runs in the ball game and supplementing the pitching staff with enough offense to take the series in Seattle. Gavin Sheets delivered two RBIs in the form of a sacrifice fly in the 6th and an RBI groundout in the 8th, with the latter giving the Sox a 7-6 lead. The South Siders nabbed two more insurance runs in the top of the 9th, buoyed by a Chris Flexen error and a José Abreu RBI sacrifice fly. All-Star closer Liam Hendriks seamlessly nailed it down in the bottom half of the 9th, only needing 13 pitches to strike out the side and record his 31st save of the season.
With today’s huge victory, the Chicago White Sox are now 69-68 and currently sit 2.5 games behind the American League Central-leading Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians are underway in Kansas City at the time of publication, squaring off against the Royals.
White Sox Scoring Recap:
- Top of the 4th: Eloy Jiménez homers to left field. José Abreu scores. SEA 4 – CWS 2.
- Top of the 6th: José Abreu singles to right field. Elvis Andrus to third. Seby Zavala scores. SEA 4 – CWS 3.
- Top of the 6th: Eloy Jiménez doubles to left field. José Abreu to third. Elvis Andrus scores. CWS 4 – SEA 4.
- Top of the 6th: Gavin Sheets out on a sacrifice fly to deep right-center field to Taylor Trammell. Eloy Jiménez to third. José Abreu scores. CWS 5 – SEA 4.
- Top of the 6th: Andrew Vaughn doubles to deep left field. Eloy Jiménez scores. CWS 6 – SEA 4.
- Top of the 8th: Gavin Sheets grounds out to shallow infield, J.P. Crawford to Ty France. Leury García scores. CWS 7 – SEA 6.
- Top of the 9th: Seby Zavala reaches on a sacrifice bunt to shallow infield, advances to 2nd. Josh Harrison to third. AJ Pollock scores. Throwing error by Chris Flexen. CWS 8 – SEA 6.
- Top of the 9th: José Abreu out on a sacrifice fly to deep center field to Julio Rodríguez. Josh Harrison scores. CWS 9 – SEA 6.
Eloy Jiménez: 3-for-4, 2B (7), 2-run HR (10), 3 RBI (36)
Jiménez carried the offense today, providing three hits (two extra-base) and three RBIs. His 4th inning bomb of a two-run home run left the bat at 107.6 mph and traveled 423 feet, per Statcast. Eloy continues to destroy the baseball and has hit like a Silver Slugger ever since returning from injury.
Michael Kopech: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
After being activated from the Injured List earlier today, Kopech looked rusty in his return. Though this was somewhat to be expected, it was still not a pretty sight to see Michael allow four runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning. While his fastball command was shaky and he was lifted before finishing four frames, the silver lining is that he appears to be healthy and should be a contributing member of the White Sox rotation down the stretch.
Liam Hendriks: 1.0 IP, 3 K, SV (31)
Liam was given a few insurance runs in the top of the 9th, but regardless, he did not mess around tonight. He struck out the side on 13 pitches and shut the door for his 31st save of the season. He is currently tied with the Cleveland Guardians’ Emmanuel Clase for the most saves in the American League.
The White Sox will head to Oakland to begin a four-game series on Thursday night. Chicago’s ace Dylan Cease (2.13 ERA) will toe the rubber for the first time since he nearly pitched a no-hitter on Saturday night. Oakland’s JP Sears will open the series for the Athletics, and he currently is sporting an impressive 2.37 ERA on the season. The game can be viewed on NBC Sports Chicago at 8:40 PM CST.
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