In what was a drawn-out game from the start, the White Sox found a way to wait out the Royals until they broke.
The way they cracked couldn’t have started more innocuously, either. With the game tied at 2, Danny Duffy retired the first two Sox in the bottom of the fourth, then got ahead of Omar Narvaez 0-2.
Seven pitches later, the count was 2-2. One more pitch later, Duffy hung a changeup, and Narvaez pulled it into right field for a double. He wasn’t in position to start anything, but Leury Garcia followed him with a double, Tim Anderson came through with a single, and after two outs and nobody on, the Sox had the first of four two-run innings over a five-frame stretch.
The Sox had shown signs of getting to Duffy before. A balk seemed to rattle Duffy into walking the bases loaded with two outs and surrendering an RBI single to Garcia that tied the game at 1 in the second. Likewise, when Alex Gordon knocked in Mike Moustakas with a two-out single in the top of the third, the Sox manufactured a run with a HBP, single and sac fly in bottom of the inning.
The Sox were the first one to find a crooked number, and they found it over and over again - two in the fifth, two in the seventh, and two more in the eighth. More impressively, the Sox scored eight of their 10 runs with two outs.
Trying to pick a player of the game is difficult. Take your pick:
- Garcia turned over the bottom of the order with his second straight three-hit game, driving in two and scoring a run.
- Todd Frazier driving in three and scoring three with a sac fly and pair of doubles.
- Narvaez drawing two walks along with two singles.
- Avisail Garcia with three hits including a double, a pair of runs and an RBI.
Matt Davidson was the only one without a run or an RBI, but he did draw a walk while tying together strikeout-free games, so that’s a good way to go hitless. (He was thrown out at the plate on Garcia’s RBI single in the second. Davidson ... isn’t fast.)
Rick Renteria had a say in the matters, too, as he handled his pitching staff proactively. Dylan Covey was Dylan Covey, avoiding huge innings despite a lot of baserunners (three hits, three walks, one HBP), but throwing 86 pitches through four. After the Yankees blew him up in the fifth the last time out, Renteria didn’t even let him start the inning.
Instead, he went to Dan Jennings, who started the first five outs of four-inning stretch of relief excellence shared with Anthony Swarzak and Nate Jones.
Then Chris Beck came in and gave up a couple homers.