CHICAGO — The South Side youth moment announced its presence with authority in Wednesday’s 7-5 win.
Nick Madrigal, leading off for the second straight game, went 4-for-5 with a homer and a stolen base. Luis Robert managed to raise the ante, going 3-for-4 with a double in the first to give the White Sox a 3-2 lead, and the eventual game-winning RBI with a solo homer to make it 6-5 in the fifth.
The game did not start out so sunny, on this 45-degree day. Starter Reynaldo López had his second straight subpar outing, allowing a two-run homer to Shed Long Jr. with only one out in the first.
But the White Sox stormed back, batting around and scoring five runs in their half, Madrigal with two hits in the frame. Seattle starter Yusei Kikuchi was knocked from the box after walking both Yasmani Grandal and Tim Anderson at the bottom of the White Sox order.
The Mariners practically begged the White Sox to add to their lead in the eighth, when Leury García led off with a double and Seattle catcher Tom Murphy called to intentionally walk .086-hitting Grandal to put two on. But after an Anderson sac bunt, Madrigal squibbed a dribbler to second for his only out of the game, and Yoán Moncada struck out.
The White Sox are off on Thursday, then welcome Minnesota to town with a three-game set. Gio González, 2-0 this season, faces righthander Homer Bailey. The 7-5 White Sox sit in first place, percentage points ahead of Cleveland and a half-game on top of the Twinkies. Chicago’s magic number is 150.
NOTES: Edwin Encarnación, off to a scintillating start in his first nine games of his White Sox career (1.313 OPS), was diagnosed with a fractured rib after sliding into second with a double on Sunday at Boston and will miss three weeks. He was placed on the injured list, retroactive to April 5 ... Zack Collins was called up from Charlotte to take Encarnación’s spot on the roster ... Jace Fry (with six walks in three games this season) was demoted to the Knights, and recent waiver claim Fernando Abad was activated as the second lefty in the pen ... the White Sox have now won two straight series ... 14 of the 15 AL teams are within three games of one another, with 4-10 Seattle being the lone laggart.
Around the majors
- Earning the First Star was Tampa Bay’s Austin Meadows, who went ham on the Boston Red Sox by going 3-for-4 with a triple, two homers, five RBIs and four runs in a 11-3 Rays win.
- The Cubs got some rare good news with Second Star Kyle Hendricks, who threw 8 ⅓ innings of three-hit, one-run, seven-K ball in a 2-1 win over the Pirates.
- Third Star Pete Alonso went 2-for-3 with a homer, three RBIs, two runs and two walks in a 12-8 Mets win over Houston. Rene Rivera added two home runs in the romp.
- Baltimore came to the Bronx and slugged five home runs in a 9-3 mauling of Gerrit Cole. The Yankees scored all their runs with solo homers, including Giancarlo Stanton’s sixth of the season. The Orioles also won the nightcap of the doubleheader, 6-4, to drop New York to 6-6 after a hot start.
- Angel Justin Upton slugged his 300th career homer in Oakland’s 6-5 win.
- Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol suffered UCL damage and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season.
- Arizona starting pitcher Zac Gallen was diagnosed with a torn muscle in his back, and he could miss the rest of the season.