The White Sox solved the Athletics, who had been outscoring them 28-5 this season entering play today. Starter Reynaldo López had another quality start, and the bullpen did its job, as Oakland’s late rally fell short.
Reynaldo López survived the top of the first unharmed despite allowing a pair of batted balls that left the bat above 105 mph. He stranded runners on first and second by catching Oakland center fielder Mark Canha looking with a 99 mph fastball.
After fairly easy second and third innings, López had thrown three scoreless innings, but the offense did not get off to a good start. Yolmer Sánchez nearly put the White Sox on the board with a solo home run in the third, and the umpires initially called his blast a homer. However, after reviewing it, they ruled that it hooked just foul.
However, the White Sox did score later in the inning. After Leury García grounded into a forceout, he stood on first with two outs. Then, he picked up his 13th and 14th stolen bases of the year. On his successful steal of third base, Oakland catcher Chris Herrmann made a throwing error, and García advanced home. Credit to third base coach Nick Capra for getting in García’s line of vision to communicate that he would be safe at the plate.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth, when Eloy Jiménez hit a solo shot to double the White Sox’s lead.
This was Eloy’s 19th home run of the season, and he did it on his bobblehead night. It is worth noting that this blast happened on a slider that was in the lower outside portion of the strike zone. Jiménez has struggled on pitches in that part of the zone, and his numbers against breaking balls have also been underwhelming. If he figures out how to hit those kinds of pitches, make way.
Meanwhile, Reynaldo López continued his strong performance during the latter portion of his start. Ironically, López only managed three swinging strikes, but he made up for it by mixing good fortune with the limitation of sharply hit balls in the air. His final line: six and one-third innings, six hits, no runs, three walks, and three strikeouts. He threw 106 pitches, and 65 of them were strikes.
After a López walk and two Evan Marshall walks, the Athletics had the bases loaded with two outs. Aaron Bummer came on in relief, and he forced a lineout to right from Chad Pinder. Much credit to Jon Jay for making an excellent catch to keep the 2-0 lead intact.
The White Sox added another insurance run on a clutch base hit in the bottom of the seventh by Welington Castillo. Anderson displayed his impressive speed, as he raced home from first on Castillo’s hit to put the Sox up by a score of 3-0.
The top of the ninth was dramatic, as the Athletics got two consecutive hits and took advantage of an error to pull within one. Ryan Goins made a fielding error that allowed Matt Chapman to advance to second, representing the potential tying run. After two walks (the first of which was intentional), the bases were loaded. However, Colomé was able to shut the door by striking out Khris Davis to earn his 23rd save in 24 opportunities this season.
The White Sox improved to 52-63, while the Athletics fell to 66-51. The Sox will play their last game of the season against the Athletics tomorrow, and that game will start at 1:10 CST. WGN will televise it, and as usual, WGN 720 will have the radio coverage. Lucas Giolito is the White Sox’s probable starter, and he is scheduled to face Chris Bassitt. Ashley Sanders will have your coverage. Let’s end this season series on a high note.