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Royals 6, White Sox 3: Unlucky seven

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Ninth-inning, two-out rally falls short, extending Chicago’s losing streak

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Inching Ahead: Alex Gordon narrowly missed a game-changing home run in the third, settling instead for a sac fly.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the Chicago clubhouse is just as down as I still am about the Michael Kopech news, because the White Sox still haven’t won since news of this TJS was announced.

But on Tuesday, Kansas City Royals rookie righty Brad Keller had a say in the proceedings, throwing lights-out against Ricky’s boys tonight, extending Chicago’s losing streak to seven, 6-3.

The White Sox opened the scoring in the top of the third. Yolmer Sánchez doubled to left with one out, José Abreu grounded out to shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, allowing Sanchez to advance to third base. With two down, Avisaíl García hustled down the line for an infield single to Mondesi that scored Sánchez and gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

Dylan Covey would find himself in some trouble in the bottom of the third. Covey surrendered a leadoff single to Brian Goodwin, which was then followed by a walk to Rosell Herrera. White Sox killer Whit Merrifield would then bloop a single to right center, scoring Goodwin. This inning would only get worse as Mondesi laid down a bunt that Welington Castillo tossed into right field, giving K.C. a 2-1 lead.

With Alex Gordon at the plate threatening to bust the game wide open, Daniel Palka made a leaping catch in right field, turning a near-homer into a sac fly, making the score 3-1 at the end of the third.

The scoring would continue for Kansas City in the fourth inning, as Covey allowed a leadoff triple to Ryan O’Hearn, followed by an RBI ground rule double by Jorge Bonifacio, making it 4-1. The outfield came through for Covey once again, as Goodwin then clocked a deep drive to Nicky Delmonico, who made a terrific catch while sliding into the foul wall in left field. It was a huge out for Covey, helping him escape any further damage.

Covey’s night would come to an end after 4 ⅓ innings, having surrendered six hits and five earned, with three walks and striking out four. Ryan Burr relieved Covey with runners on first and second, and allowed a single to Hunter Dozier that would score Merrifield and Gordon and putting the game out of reach, at 6-1.

It was a tough night for Covey, who ran through is first two innings pretty sharp. Here’s hoping the Kopech injury won’t mean more Covey starts in 2019.

Keller, on the other hand, was dominant for the Royals tonight, pitching seven strong innings while allowing just four hits and one earned run. Keller seemed to only get better as the night went on, as his slider had more life. All four hits Keller gave up came in the first three innings, and the righty only allowed one baserunner after the third, a walk to Palka.

There was some positive news about tonight’s game: Nate Jones came off the DL tonight. Jones pitched for the first time since June 12, and looked great. He threw a scoreless seventh, allowing just one infield single while striking out one. It’s good to have Nate back, and he sure looked happy to be back.

Rob Scahill made his White Sox debut tonight. It was his first MLB appearance since last July 21, 2017, and he responded with a nice and easy 1-2-3 eighth inning.

And the White Sox would attempt a two-out comeback in the ninth. Ryan LaMarre hit a single, then a walk to Castillo, followed by a RBI single from Tim Anderson, made the game 6-2. Adam Engel walked to load the bases, and Yoán Moncada followed with an RBI walk. Sánchez stood in the box as the potential lead run, but popped out to end the game.

The White Sox need to finish 7-10 to avoid losing 100 games this season. With the way they are playing right now, I am beginning to doubt they can do that.

Anyway, tomorrow night Carlos Rodón takes the mound in search of snapping the seven-game losing streak, and avoiding a sweep at the hands of the second-worst team in baseball.