It was a wild ballgame in the late innings. Challenges, running, and pitching highlighted an entertaining final nine outs. The Good Guys lost 6-4, because as the offense found ways to put runners on base and score, the pitchers couldn’t finish the deal.
The game started quiet — a little too quiet.
When Tim Anderson came to bat in the second inning, the Royals fans were booing Timmy. But, the true noise didn’t start until the third inning.
Leury García, with one out, took a four-pitch walk. Another out later, José Abreu blooped a single to right field, moving Leury to third. Cleanup hitter James McCann doubled to the left-center field wall, which drove both of the runners home for the opening runs of the game.
The Royals responded with a Whit Merrifield two-out RBI-single. He drove home Illinois native Nicky Lopez, who doubled to open the inning.
After the third, the game went quiet, with only the echoes of baseballs hitting gloves for outs. Homer Bailey and Iván Nova kept their opposing teams at bay.
However, Nova found trouble in the sixth. Merrifield and Alex Gordon started the inning with back-to-back singles. Adalberto Mondesi doubled Whit home, and I don’t have any wit for that.
The game tied at 2-2, Jorge Soler struck out, and Nova surrendered a walk to Ryan O’Hearn. With that, Ricky Renteria took Nova out, and Evan Marshall came on with bases loaded and one out. Marshall gave up a two-RBI single to Cheslor Cuthbert. Evan recorded the next two outs to escape the inning. But, the Royals were up 4-2.
Bailey stayed in the game to start the seventh inning, but Anderson made some of his own noise with a leadoff double to open the frame. Brad Boxberger came in to replace Bailey. Yolmer Sánchez singled to center to put runners on the corners and zero outs. Ryan Cordell popped out for the second time to follow.
Leury grounded into a double play, but after a replay review, he beat the throw and reached on a fielder’s choice. TA7 scored, and the Sox inched closer, 4-3.
Yoán Moncada followed with a first pitch bloop double to left field. Leury sprinted home all the way from first, and the South Siders tied the game at four! The Sox refused to go quietly into the night.
(Look closely for the little dirt-flip by García.)
The White Sox had a little luck on their side. In the bottom of the seventh with one out, Merrifield grounded to Moncada, who threw to Sánchez. Yolmer, on the transfer, dropped the ball. However, after video review, Yolmer never had possession, but Ned Yost had already lost his challenge. How? During the Leury GIDP challenge, Yost challenged over Yolmer’s baserunning disruption at second base, but nothing was found. So an aggressive came back to bite Yost in the bottom of the inning — but only for a moment.
Unfortunately, Mondesi singled Merrifield home to put their guys up, 5-4. Jace Fry was in charge of the inning, and I’m wondering why Aaron Bummer never received the call to come into the game.
Juan Minaya replaced Fry after that two-out RBI, and he gave up an RBI double to Jorge Soler. Again, where is Bummer?
The eighth inning went by with a glimpse of hope when McClutch walked to start the inning, but the Sox couldn’t find a way to drive him home.
In the ninth, Charlie Tilson had a pinch-hit double, but he and all the tying runs that came to plate couldn’t find a way to score.
Merrifield led the charge and dealt the damage for the Royals, and the Sox couldn’t recover from their blows. The Royals take game one of three, but the Sox will look to even the series tomorrow.
Luc-ace G-elite-o (8-1, 2.54 ERA) will face White Sox enemy Brad Keller (3-7, 4.50 ERA). It’s a lovely 1:15 CT start. NBC Sports Chicago will have your TV coverage, and you already know that WGN-AM has your radio needs covered. It’s time to get back on track with some bat-flip noise. Year of the Hamster is on the coverage, with the possibility of a special guest as well.