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Mendick homers, Sox win

5-1 win salvages the series

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Chicago White Sox
Too cool: Fan favorite grinder Danny Mendick hit his first career homer on Sunday, helping to ice a White Sox win.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last week, we reported that Danny Mendick was getting his call-up as an audition for a role on the 2020 Chicago White Sox.

Now, Mendick does profile as a AAAA guy, and while that sort of player is valuable as a 25th man on a roster (or, next year, 26th), by definition several players fit there. Yolmer Sánchez carries a large pricetag, but has clubhouse gravitas. Leury García is due for a nice raise, and tends to get nicked up. Ryan Goins? He managed to avoid getting Alcides Escobarred, despite Escobar having a better season at Charlotte.

All in all, Mendick may already have an inside track for a reserve role on the 2020 team, especially given his Garcíaesque IF-OF capability. And games like Sunday won’t hurt his case at all.

Mendick went 2-for-5 with his first career home run, two runs scored, and played a great shortstop (participating in three double plays). He’s hitting .357 with a .928 OPS so far in his call-up, so acknowledging it’s the smallest of sample sizes, nice start.

OK, you guys read all of that, so here’s your treat, a Mendick ding-dong:

Dylan Cease is the other story from Sunday, and this is where it gets weird. Cease was all over the place with his control: 88 pitches (46 strikes) without even being able to get out of the fourth inning (3 13 today). It’s hard to let him off the hook for such a miserable game (five walks, three in the first inning alone), but he did somehow only let one run in.

Real pitching heroes today include Josh Osich, Aaron Bummer and Alex Colomé, who combined for 5 23 innings of one-hit, one-walk, four-K ball, Colomé even navigating a non-save situation with aplomb.

José Abreu concluded a white-hot series against the Angels with another OBP monster day: three walks and a homer, his 31st of the season. Matt Skole and James McCann contributed two hits apiece, and the White Sox offense had a rare favorable BB/K ratio, five apiece.

The White Sox are off tomorrow and welcome K.C. into town on Tuesday, as the club looks to build toward a season with wins in the mid-70s. As many have said, today’s victory ensures a better season than last year’s 62-100. But with optimistic projections realistically envisioning mid-70s wins, no one can deny a 12- or 13-win jump from last year, with this roster, would be anything but a big success.