Matt Davidson sat the last four games due to a string of tough right-handed starters. His replacements/platoonmates failed to impress. With Kansas City throwing lefties at the Sox in the first two games of the series, Davidson had a chance to stake his claim to a greater share of the playing time when the righties returned.
Did he ever take advantage.
Davidson opened the scoring with a solo homer off Jason Vargas in the second, then collected a run-scoring double and a two-run single in same frame four innings later. The White Sox scored a whopping eight runs during the sixth inning — and without a homer — to bury the Royals in the opener.
Miguel Gonzalez lent the evening a relaxed vibe. He started his night with a six-pitch, 1-2-3 inning en route to another easy eight innings. He gave up just two hits — a Mike Moustakas RBI double in the third, and an excuse-me single by Alex Gordon in the seventh.
His final line: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. The run was unearned for good reason. First, Frazier didn’t get the glove down on a Whit Merrifield grounder, which kept the inning alive. Then Avisail Garcia fell down trying to trap Moustakas’ sinking liner, and the ball caromed far enough away to allow Merrifield to score all the way from first.
The Moustakas double temporarily tied the game, answering Davidson’s solo blast on a Vargas fastball in the bottom of the second, but the Sox regained the lead immediately. Moustakas answered Frazier’s error with one of his own to let Tim Anderson reach and advance to second. Anderson then stole third, and just when it looked like he might be stranded there after a strikeout and a flyout, Jose Abreu came through with an RBI single to give the Sox a lead they didn’t relinquish.
From that point on, they tacked on runs at their leisure while Gonzalez breezed through his half-innings. Cabrera atoned for his shallow flyout in the third by delivering a two-run single to center in the fifth to give Gonzalez some breathing room (after a two-strike Tyler Saladino bunt moved both runners into scoring position).
After the sixth, Gonzalez had his own sleeper car.
It started innocuously, what with Avisail Garcia beating out a spinning one-hopper to the right side. Merrifield backed up on it, but didn’t get rid of the ball in time, and Garcia just beat the throw. He then took off for second, and Davidson maxed out the hit-and-run opportunity with a drive through the right-center gap for an RBI double (and this was off sidewinding righty Peter Moylan, too).
Geovany Soto grounded to short to freeze Davidson at second, but when Leury Garcia hit a slower chopper to the left side, Davidson was able to cross in front of Alcides Escobar and screen him, and Escobar couldn’t see a play. From there, Tim Anderson dropped a single in front of Lorenzo Cain in center, and Tyler Saladino shot one under his glove for a two-run triple.
In came Travis Wood, but he didn’t have much. He walked Cabrera and Abreu, then gave in on a full-count to Frazier with a low fastball. Frazier smoked it to the gap for a two-run double, and then Davidson returned with a 110-mph two-run single off the left-field wall to cap off the scoring.
*The Sox pounded out 15 hits along with three walks. Geovany Soto was the only hitless starter.
*Davidson, Leury Garcia and Anderson all had three-hit games, which is useful when they’re hitting within a four-batter stretch of the lineup.
*Frazier is also stirring. He might’ve had two extra-base hits tonight, except Gordon robbed him with a leaping catch in left.
*Gonzalez owns the Sox’ highest game score of the year at 84. He set the previous season-high his last time out with a 74 against the Yankees.
*Anthony Swarzak pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.