CHICAGO — Things got awfully blue in the seventh inning, as the Kansas City Royals melted a 4-0 lead and seemingly sent the Sox to a second straight loss.
But a two-run bomb from Tim Anderson in the eighth erased the deficit, and a rally from the bench mob in the 10th won the game in dramatic fashion, 7-6.
The Royals, who had announced Jakob Junis as today’s starter at the onset of the series, sprung opener Kevin McCarthy on Chicago to start the game. It seemed to stymie the Sox, as the game sped along from the start, with Kansas City blowing opportunities and the White Sox simply not getting on base; through five innings, the South Siders had just two hits, and two baserunners reaching second base.
While in the fourth inning Junis struck out the side (Yasmani Grandal-Eloy Jiménez-Edwin Encarnación), two innings later he was rode hard, as the White Sox broke through for a big crooked number. Nick Madrigal cracked a single, and walks to Yoán Moncada and Grandal loaded the bases with nobody out. Jiménez, 6-for-10 to open the season, singled to center to score Madrigal. Encarnación then doubled to the wall to score Moncada and Grandal, and Eloy came home on a José Abreu sacrifice fly.
It all was given back in the seventh, however, as Kelvin Herrera relieved Dallas Keuchel and struggled badly. After Keuchel gave up leadoff hits to Alex Gordon and Nicky López, he K’d Brett Phillips and left with 6 ⅓ innings, seven hits and six strikeouts (57 game score, with two earned runs to come) in his White Sox debut. Herrera whiffed Whit Merrifield to put two outs on the board, but then it all fell apart. Ryan McBroom doubled and Hunter Dozier singled to slice the Sox lead to 4-3. On a 1-2 count, Jorge Soler took Herrera deep for a 395-foot oppo taco, giving K.C. a 6-5 lead.
After one more Royals run in the seventh inning, Anderson drove home James McCann (pinch-running after Abreu was knocked from the game on a HBP to the knee) with a screamer to left that landed in the White Sox bullpen. Ballgame tied, 6-6.
Aaron Bummer, pitching for the second straight day, was heroic, taking the ball for the ninth and 10th innings (walk, three strikeouts), setting the scene for a dramatic finish.
Encarnación led off with a walk, Adam Engel then pinch-running for the clubber. McCann lined a single to right field, and a wild pitch at 2-2 to Nomar Mazara pushed the two runners to second and third. With a full count, Mazara lofted a lazy fly to left-center, scoring Engel and bringing the Gatorade corps to home plate to celebrate.
NOTES: After the game, the White Sox announced that Abreu would miss four games with a bone bruise on his knee ... while more heralded rookie Luis Robert has started the season hitless, two safeties today (including a bunt single) pushed fellow newbie Madrigal to 3-for-8 on the season ... the White Sox sit in a four-way tie for first in the AL Central at 1-1 ... Sunday’s rubber match pits Danny Duffy against Reynaldo López.
In other action around baseball:
- Zach Davies hurled a four-hit shutout against the Colorado Rockies, raising San Diego’s record to 3-0.
- The Yankees outslugged the Baltimore Orioles 13-5, with Giancarlo Stanton collecting two homers and leading an eight-bomb attack for New York.
- Joe Musgrove dropped Tampa Bay to 0-2, giving up just one hit while throwing 7 ⅔ shutout innings in a 4-1 Pittsburgh win.
- Angels Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Jason Castro all homered to hand the Houston Astros their first defeat of the season.
- Todd Frazier hit his fourth homer of the young season, but Seattle dropped Texas, 6-1.
- Mike Moustakas hit a leadoff home run in the 11th to deliver a 2-1 win for Cincinnati over St. Louis.
- In the alternate universe where he doesn’t need TJS, Noah Syndergaard threw 6 ⅔ innings of one-run ball to lead the Mets over the Nationals.