José Abreu was expected to exact revenge on the Royals in his first game back from an incident more common on a football field than on a baseball diamond.
He delivered, hitting a solo shot in the fourth inning.
However, the rest of the White Sox lineup remained mystified by lefty Mike Minor, who, up to this point, had logged a 5.75 ERA in seven starts. For any longtime Sox fan, it was reminiscent of every Sox game against Bruce Chen. There was just enough between Minor’s fastball and off-speed pitches to keep the South Siders guessing.
Meanwhile, Carlos Rodón struggled mightily for the Sox. Unable to keep control of his stuff, and later, his temper, Rodón got little help from a shrinking strike zone courtesy of Larry Vanover and Zack Collins’s inability to frame strikes on the corner.
Despite the struggles, Rodón managed to go into the sixth inning, albeit throwing 110 pitches in the process.
Carlos Rodón has thrown 110+ pitches for the third time this season, in his sixth start— James Fegan (@JRFegan) May 16, 2021
The lowest point for Rodón was giving up a three-run home run to Salvador Perez on a chest-high fastball that seemed to carry on forever into the night sky towards right field. Even Rodón appeared surprised at the result.
Carlos Rodon's extremely memeable reaction to Salvador Perez hitting *this* pitch for a 3-run HR is entirely justified pic.twitter.com/yGTadZHuwK— ¡Matt! (@mateovonchicago) May 16, 2021
Besides the Abreu home run, the silver lining is that both Evan Marshall and Matt Foster turned out solid relief appearances. The Sox briefly rallied in the eighth inning, anchored by a 13-pitch at-bat by Leury García that led to an eventual walk, bringing Yoán Moncada up with a chance to tie the game. Instead, Moncada grounded out to end the inning and the threat.
The Sox are back in action against the Royals tomorrow at 1:10 pm. It’s the dream team matchup on Hannah LaMotta on the recap and Ashley Sanders back with your Six Pack of Stats.
Our day-after umpire scorecard insertions are spotty, but this one from Larry Vanover had to be included, if nothing else to make a case for retiring him: