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First-place White Sox crush Cleveland, 19-4

Eloy has five hits; Encarnación two homers, four walks

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
Easy day: After home runs in his first two at-bats, Encarnación could take his batting gloves off for the day, with four walks.
Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

CLEVELAND — Despite a driving rain and chilly temps in the 40s, the White Sox swung hot bats all game long on Monday, demolishing Cleveland, 19-4.

The White Sox were spurred by five hits, four runs and five RBIs from Eloy Jiménez (including a solo shot to lead off scoring in the first) and two homers (in his first two at-bats) and four walks from Edwin Encarnación.

Chicago went up 2-0 in the first with back-to-back jacks from Jiménez and Encarnación, then added five in the third to make it 7-0, three in the sixth to push the lead to 12-4, and seven in the eighth to reach the 19-4 final tally. The club failed to score in only the second, seventh and ninth innings.

Even the rookies got into the act, with Luis Robert getting his first major league hit (after starting 0-for-12) in the sixth, a bases-loaded RBI single to make it 12-4 in 6th. Two innings later, Robert walked with the bases loaded for his second career RBI. Nick Madrigal went 2-for-5 with three runs, highlighted by a two-RBI, bases-loaded double in the eighth.

And in the “near-rookie” category, Nomar Mazara broke out of some early-season malaise with two hits and three RBIs. He extended his hitless streak against righthanders to eight with a very deep fly out to center field with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, but made up for it in the sixth with his first hit of the year against a righty, an RBI single to extend the White Sox lead to 11-4.

Gio González finally got to throw a major league pitch for the White Sox, starting the game and giving up four runs on five hits over five innings, with three walks, five Ks and two homers allowed. The 43 game score isn’t pretty, but the W is. Carson Fulmer and Jimmy Cordero came on to pitch two scoreless innings apiece.

The White Sox defense was on point as well, with a clean game in the rain and three key double plays turned, two of the 5-4-3 variety. The victims were all Santanas: Domingo (two) and Carlos (one).

Even team speed (?) was on display in the game, as the White Sox had three infield hits: Yoán Moncada, Jiménez (?) and Yasmani Grandal (!?!). Grandal’s tapper extended the Chicago lead to 16-4.

Tomorrow’s contest sees Dylan Cease making his season debut for the White Sox, against Cleveland lefthander Scott Moss.

NOTES: José Abreu, hobbled by a bruised knee after being hit by a pitch in the second game of the season, sat on Monday. Yasmani Grandal moved to first base, with James McCann catching. McCann took advantage of the rare start by flying out deep to left field in his first at-bat and blasting a home run to left in his next at-bat, in the fourth ... Leury García struck out in his first at-bat of the season, pinch-hitting for Tim Anderson in the ninth ... Danny Mendick also made his season debut, subbing for Yoán Moncada and going 0-for-2 ... Despite Eloy Jiménez’s five-hit, five-RBI day and Edwin Encarnación’s two homers and six times reaching safely, Giancarlo Stanton was named the top star of the day, with two homers for the Yankees (Eloy was second, EE third) ... The White Sox are 3-1 and in first place in the AL Central, a half-game ahead of the Minnesota Twins.

Around the majors

  • The Royals (1-3) outhit the Tigers (2-2) 17-14, but lost 11-6 in a Motown slugfest.
  • Tanner Roark threw 8 ⅓ innings of two-hit ball in a 1-0 Toronto (2-3) win vs. the Cincinnati Reds (2-2).
  • Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-2 with two homers, six RBIs and three walks to push Tampa Bay to 0-4 in a 12-9 Yankees (4-0) win.
  • Jon Lester threw eight innings of four-hit, one-run ball in a 3-1 Cubs (2-2) home opener win over Pittsburgh (3-1).
  • The Giants (1-3) and Diamondbacks (1-4) combined for 32 hits in San Francisco’s 16-8 win in Phoenix. The Giants scored eight runs in the top of the ninth; Billy Hamilton went 5-for-7 to ensure San Francisco’s first win of the season.