Tonight probably reinforces the idea that Dallas Keuchel isn’t quite right, but the White Sox entered this game without an August win, so they can’t be above kicking pitchers while they’re down.
The White Sox jumped on the former Cy Young winner for three crooked numbers over four innings, building an early 8-3 lead and holding on to snap a six-game losing streak.
Keuchel entered the game having allowed six runs over eight innings in two starts since returning from a neck problem. The Sox stung him for three first-inning runs, and never let him off the hook afterward. Avisail Garcia made a triumphant return to the lineup to ding Keuchel for an RBI single and a double, but Kevan Smith did the most damage. He went 2-for-3 with a two-run double, a two-run homer and his first career two-walk game.
Those two blows by Smith decided the game. In the third, he chased a 3-1 sinker out of the zone to load the count, only to unload on a full-count slider for a double down the line, giving the Sox a 5-3 lead. An inning later, he pounced on a first-pitch cutter and shot it out to left for the two-run homer, which gave the Sox the cushion needed to cruise, more or less.
Because it’s 2017, it wasn’t quite that easy.
Derek Holland picked up his first win since June 13, although it wasn’t a particularly elegant effort. He blew a 3-0 lead by allowing a bases-clearing triple, and his seventh walk of the game ended his night with two outs in the sixth, as Rick Renteria pulled him to preserve the sanctity of the quality start. He also needed Adam Engel to make the White Sox’ catch of the year to save a run.
Engel in the Outfield. pic.twitter.com/0U4FyV1QV7— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 9, 2017
The Astros pitching staff held the White Sox scoreless the rest of the way, leaving the bullpen to protect a five-run lead. Jake Petricka stranded a runner in the sixth, but he gave up a pair of solo shots around a lineup in the seventh as his struggles continued.
Aaron Bummer erased an HBP by snaring a liner for a 1-3 double play to end the seventh, and Juan Minaya stranded Bummer’s leadoff walk in the eighth.
That handed the game to Tyler Clippard for his first save opportunity in a White Sox uniform. He alternated singles and strikeouts through four batters to bring the tying run to the plate, but induced a weak 3-1 groundout off the bat of Carlos Beltran to close it out.
*Every White Sox starter had a hit during the 13-hit attack, and they also drew five walks, including two more by Yoan Moncada.
*Nicky Delmonico’s hit was another shift-beating bunt.
*Leury Garcia delivered a hit and a walk, but he also factored into a couple of frustrating moments. He was nearly picked off at second on a play that was initially ruled an out but never should have been that close, then was thrown out at the plate after taking off for third on a Tim Anderson single, then holding up to make sure it dropped. He also bumped into Tyler Saladino on a shallow flyout to left.
Record: 42-68 | Box score