Well, it was a rough one, as the White Sox dropped their home opener in front of a frosty-cold crowd at Sox Park. Chicago wasted a valiant effort from Lucas Giolito (six innings, four hits, two walks, one earned, six Ks) and four hits from Eloy Jiménez in a fall-from-ahead loss to the Royals, 4-3.
Giolito had a rough first, as a Whit Merrifield single, Jorge Soler double and Hunter Dozier sac fly put K.C. up, 1-0. But the White Sox stormed back in the bottom of the inning, a Yoán Moncada walk and Jiménez double tying the game with just one out, and an Edwin Encarnación single, Nomar Mazara walk and Tim Anderson single (off of Brad Keller, yeah) pushing the score to 2-1. With the bases full, Luis Robert flew out in his first major league at-bat.
With two outs in the bottom of the second (which led off with a ground out in Nick Madrigal’s first career at-bat), Yasmani Grandal doubled, Jiménez singled and Encarnación singled to make the game 3-1. As the temperature fell toward freezing, the White Sox offense stayed warm.
There was nothing doing until the eighth inning, when poor defense caved the roof in. Evan Marshall led off the frame by ploinking Merrifield in the knee and knocking him from the game. But Adalberto Mondesi doubled to put ducks on the pond with none out, summoning Aaron Bummer in to pitch.
Bummer did his job — a Soler grounder to Moncada — but when the throw sailed over José Abreu’s head at first base, two runs scored and the game was tied. Soler stole third, and Ryan O’Hearn brought the ex-Cub home with a fourth run, giving the Royals the lead.
A walk in the eighth (Robert) and a HBP in the ninth (Encarnación) yielded nothing, and the White Sox left the game with frostbite — and a first loss.
The two heralded White Sox rookies, Robert and Madrigal, batted at the bottom of the order and went 1-for-7. Madrigal’s first major league hit was a sixth-inning double, a wormburner that hugged the third-base line. Robert finished 0-for-3, with that walk in the eighth.
The two teams are off on Friday, as groundskeeper Roger Bossard attempts to microwave the permafrost. On Saturday, Dallas Keuchel makes his White Sox debut, as the White Sox try to even their season record at 1-1.
Elsewhere around baseball on Opening Day:
- The Tigers rallied for three in the ninth to ruin Cleveland’s home opener, 5-2
- Hyun-Jin Ryu got rocked in his Toronto debut, a 7-4 loss to Boston
- Oakland knocked off the Twins with six late runs, 6-4
- Two homers from Todd Frazier helped Texas upend Seattle in 11 innings, 8-7
- Shohei Ohtani was rocked in a 7-2 loss to Justin Verlander and the Astros
- The Brewers rode four runs in the eighth and a 3-for-5, HR performance from Avisaíl García to club the Cubs, 13-9
- Corey Seager’s walk-off homer in the 10th earned L.A. a win.
In White Sox off-field news, Cheslor Cuthbert cleared waivers and reported to Triple-A Charlotte. And rounding up other news and questions from pre-Opening Day, Jacob Lindgren looks to be the first lefty up from Charlotte, while either Ian Hamilton or Matt Foster may play the role as RHRP. OOTP seems very unimpressed by Jimmy Cordero, so we’ll see how that goes.