This game was written off in the sixth inning. Miguel Gonzalez, called up to make a spot start in John Danks place, had a rocky time dealing with the heart of Toronto Blue Jays lineup. Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Troy Tulowitzki, and Michael Saunders were a combined 7 for 13 off Gonazlez resulting in a home run, three doubles, and all five of the Blue Jays runs. Despite being teed off at times, the White Sox game narrative was how Gonzalez demonstrated his ability to battle and eat as many innings as possible. Gonzalez final line in which he threw 113 pitches in 5 1/3 IP giving up 11 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's.
For the Blue Jays, they had their ace, Marcus Stroman on the mound. After a rough first inning in which Adam Eaton and Jimmy Rollins singles, paired with their heads up base running, put themselves on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. White Sox only managed one run on a weak groundout by Jose Abreu. After that, Stroman posted five consecutive scoreless innings.
Then the seventh inning came and flipped this game on its head.
With one out and runners on first and second, Dioner Navarro hit a two-hop chop that caught Stroman's elbow and ricochet to the second baseman, Ryan Goins for the fielders choice. If Stroman dodges the grounder, it ends up being a double play, and the Blue Jays get out of the 7th.
Instead, Stroman stays in the game and walks Austin Jackson on four straight pitches to load the bases for Adam Eaton. Lefthander Brett Cecil came in for relief and got ahead in the count against Eaton. On a 1-2 pitch, Eaton laced a single up the middle to drive in two runs, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
Jimmy Rollins in the next at-bat lined a single to left-field to make it a one-run game. After a brief mound visit, the Blue Jays decided to have Cecil pitch around Jose Abreu. Cecil was able to get Abreu chasing after two curveballs in the dirt. Luckily for the Sox, Abreu realized he wasn't going to see a fastball, and laid off the next two breaking pitches to finally take his walk.
Clinging to a one-run lead, Manager John Gibbons called the right-hander out of the bullpen to face Todd Frazier. No other than Ex-White Sox, Gavin Floyd. On a 0-1 cut fastball, Frazier drilled a two-run double down the left field line, putting the Sox ahead 6-5.
Now, the game's fate rested in the White Sox bullpen which is a great place to be. Zach Putnam, Dan Jennings, and Matt Albers combined 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's to assure the South Siders had the lead heading into the ninth inning.
In the top half, Jimmy Rollins lead off with a double. On a 3-0 pitch to Jose Abreu, Rollins stole third base when Blue Jays reliever Pat Venditte didn't even look back to Rollins. Last time the Sox stole third-base was in 2014, as they were 0 for 3 in 2015. That head's up baserunning paid off when Todd Frazier hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Rollins to make it a two-run lead, 7-5.
In the bottom half, the Blue Jays were mounting a rally with runners on first and second, and two outs. Michael Saunders hit a ground ball heading to second-basemen, Brett Lawrie. But instead of running full speed to second base, Tulowitzki hesitated just enough for the grounder to hit him, thus, ending the game on runner interference.
- The White Sox sure do love hitting in the 7th inning. As a team, they are hitting .274/.308/.493 and their run breakdown per inning:
#WhiteSox runs scored by inning this season:— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 26, 2016
3-4-9-6-6-7-17-6-8 and 1 in extras.
17 in the 7th.
- In the last seven games, Todd Frazier is 9 for 24 with 3 HRs and 6 RBI.
- Move over, Jesse Crain.
Matt Albers' 30 straight scoreless outings are the most in club history, breaking Jesse Crain mark of 29 set in 2013. #SoxStats— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 26, 2016