The White Sox won a series for the first time in a month, and they did it by clobbering the American League’s best team for a second straight night. Go figure.
After Avisail Garcia and Kevan Smith teamed up for multiple big hits in the first game, Nicky Delmonico and Tim Anderson did the heavy lifting tonight. Delmonico set them up with a three-hit night, and Anderson knocked them in with a three-RBI night. Throw in an excellent rebound from Miguel Gonzalez, and the White Sox claimed their first series win since the start of July, with a chance for the sweep on Thursday.
The White Sox didn’t even need to capitalize on all their opportunities. In fact they botched a couple of prime chances early. They had they bases loaded with nobody out in the second inning after two walks and a Nicky Delmonico single off Collin McHugh, but Tim Anderson struck out and Omar Narvaez bounced into a 3-6-1 double play. An inning later, Adam Engel benefited from miscommunication when the entire Astros infield whiffed on his pop-up, only to get greedy. He gunned it for third, but ended up caught in a pickle when the Astros recovered to cover it.
Gonzalez gave the Sox chances to get ahead, though, and eventually the Sox came through. First, Anderson atoned for the strikeout by following a Delmonico single with a two-run dinger on a McHugh hanger in the fourth. The homer wasn’t of the rally-killing variety, because Narvaez dropped a single to left, and Leury Garcia’s fly carried over the head of Derek Fisher for a ground-rule double. The Astros brought the infield in, and Yolmer Sanchez poked a grounder through the left side for a two-run single and a 4-0 lead.
When that part of the order returned in the fifth, more runs. Yoan Moncada drew a walk, took second on an errant pickoff, moved to third on a Delmonico single and scored on an Anderson double to right. In came Francisco Liriano, who retired Narvaez with a pop-up, but he couldn’t do the same to Leury Garcia. After falling behind 0-2, Garcia battled back to a full count, then sliced a single to center on the seventh pitch to make it a 7-0 game.
The only question was whether Gonzalez and friends would be able to complete a shutout, but Fisher hammered a grooved fastball out to right for the Astros’ only run in the eighth, which was Gonzalez’s final inning of work. He allowed just five hits and a walk, and never found himself in any significant danger. Now we’ll see whether he makes another start in a White Sox uniform.
*Moncada went 1-for-2 with a double and two walks, and he got his first error out of the way in a no-harm situation (a Josh Reddick grounder on the grass with two outs in the eighth).
*The White Sox scored seven runs without a hit from either Jose Abreu for Avisail Garcia, which seems unlikely.
Record: 43-68 | Box score