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White Sox are ‘good enough’ in 8-6 win

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Baltimore storms back from being down 7-2, but Chicago beats back those Triple-A charges for at least one game

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Better Late Than Never: Game hero Yoán Moncada gets his propers from Ricky after Friday’s win.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

While it is no great shakes to be just good enough to beat the 105-loss Baltimore Orioles, are the Chicago White Sox going to give the win back, or something?

No. No, they are not.

The White Sox jumped out to a 7-2 lead, surrendered four unanswered runs and briefly flirted with shoveling away a game to a team that surely some Triple-A club could give a run for its money these days, then held on for dear life, 8-6.

Yoán Moncada flexed some muscle tonight, going 3-for-4 with a walk, no strikeouts (!) and a swell play down the right-field line for an inning-ending foul pop in the second:

Moncada’s OPS is now .703, just two points behind Tim Anderson’s .705.

Speaking of flexing muscle, Ryan Cordell broke an 0-for-15 start to his career with a towering blast in the eighth inning.

“Oh man, I was trying to simplify it,” Cordell said postgame. “Fortunately, I got myself into a good count and was able to put a good swing on it.”

In just one, brief interview with Chuck Swirsky and Steve Stone postgame, Cordell revealed himself as having Grade-A earnestness (he didn’t know when to say goodbye and leave when the interview was over, bless his soul).

The Grade-A earnestness of Ryan Cordell, wearing the hardware in the dugout after his first major league home run.

“These kinds of moments make you remember all those times in the backyard, trying to hit the homers,” Cordell said. “It was almost a sigh of relief ... 16 at-bats is a long time to get your first hit, but that was a pretty sweet first hit.”

Avisaíl García and Omar Narváez also homered, and Daniel Palka went 2-for-4, all pitching in on the nine-hit, eight-run attack.

Another story of the night was James Shields, who won his first road game since ... wait for it ... Opening Day in Kansas City. Shields burned through 96 pitches in six innings, but now that his sole strength as a starter isn’t eating innings due to expanded rosters, hey, Juego G could savor a seventh victory of the season. Shields surrendered just four hits and two earned, striking out five against one walk. He gave up homers in the second and fourth to Trey Mancini, but the Baby Elephant had to walk around the bases alone, as they were both solo shots.

In a bit of a twist, it was the bullpen that made this game exciting, as Aaron Bummer yielded three earned in just one-third of an inning in relief of Shields, and Ian Hamilton struggled a bit as well (all three of Bummer’s ERs were escorted in by Hamilton). But with ducks on the pond, two out, and the White Sox clinging to a 7-6 lead, Hamilton hammered Mancini with three hard (96 mph), inside fastballs, putting out a fire of his own making.

It was there that the game was saved, although two innings later, Nate Jones was credited with his first save since May after a scoreless ninth.

The White Sox can clinch their first season series win against Baltimore in 10 years with a win tomorrow. Reynaldo López, with a 1.40 ERA (four earned runs) over his last four starts, takes the pill against Yefry Ramírez, which is either a value meal item, a Dominican automobile model, or Baltimore’s Saturday starter.