How are you feeling, Sox fans? The Chicago White Sox were able to grab the win this afternoon 4-3, with a crazy and close game all the way until the end.
The hero today was no other than our MVP, José Abreu, who added quite a chapter to his legend in this series. From a scary collision on Friday, to a home run on Saturday, to a walk-off, wild pitch run on Sunday, it’s safe to say the heart and soul of this team lies with him.
Let’s trace how we to the thrilling finish.
The Royals jumped on the White Sox early again, with a one-out walk to Carlos Santana and a single to Andrew Benintendi. Due to a passed ball by Yasmani Grandal, the runners advanced to second and third. Salvador Perez hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 that got carried by the wind and almost landed for a hit, but Leury García was able to make the catch. This would count as an unearned run for Cease, who was able to get the third out safely to end the inning there.
Brady Singer allowed a leadoff single to Tim Anderson in the bottom of the inning, but the momentum was quickly shunned after a double play by Adam Eaton. The inning ended scoreless.
Cease was able to get a 1-2-3 inning in the second, followed by Singer only allowing a single to García in the bottom half. Cease also had a 1-2-3 inning in the third and Singer challenged him yet again, allowing only a walk to Eaton before getting out of the inning.
Trouble came for Cease yet again in the fourth inning, after allowing a single and a walk with one out. He was able to get two pop outs to end the inning without any damage. Singer had another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, leaving the White Sox still scoreless.
The tables started to turn in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs. Tim Anderson got on base with a single and stole second, followed by Eaton coming up to the plate, who was well overdue. With two outs and two strikes, Eaton smacked a clutch, two-run home run to right-center field that just kept on carrying to make it 2-1, White Sox.
The Royals came out fighting for the lead back in the sixth inning, with Cease still on the mound. Benintendi singled to start the inning and advanced to second on a pickoff attempt by Cease, but Perez and Jorge Soler flew out to move the runner on third with two outs. Tony La Russa didn’t want to take any chances, and called in Codi Heuer from the pen. Cease finished with a solid outing overall, going 5 ⅔ innings with three hits, three strikeouts, and just one run. This also reduced his ERA to 2.41 and his WHIP to 1.22. Best of all, Heuer was able to get the third out without any damage.
Singer stayed in the game, pitching a scoreless sixth inning. Heuer started off the seventh inning with a single to Michael A. Taylor and a single to Cam Gallagher, which started some trouble. Nicky Lopez had a sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third, and Aaron Bummer came in to try and grab the last two outs. Whit Merrifield hit a soft ground ball to José Abreu, but Pito wasn’t able to field it cleanly, allowing the run from third to score and tie the game, 2-2. Santana hit a sacrifice fly to give the Royals the lead, 3-2, before Bummer got out of the inning.
Singer allowed a single to Nick Madrigal in the bottom of the seventh, which ended his day on the mound. He had a solid outing that consisted of pitching 6 ⅓ innings and allowing seven hits, two runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts, reducing his ERA to 3.96 and his WHIP to 1.34. Righty veteran Greg Holland came in to retire Anderson, allowed a walk to Eaton, and but then got Yoán Moncada to fly out to keep the South Siders trailing.
Bummer pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and the White Sox had a great opportunity in the bottom of the inning after a single to Abreu, a walk to Yermín Mercedes, and a two-out walk to García to load the bases for Nick Madrigal. Unfortunately for Madrigal, who was ice-cold in the series, he was unable to get the job done after hitting a soft ground ball trying to check a swing.
Matt Foster replaced Bummer in the top of the ninth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
Could the White Sox exact revenge in the bottom of the ninth and get something going? The top of the order was due up in the inning, with righty Wade Davis coming in to close the game. Anderson started off the inning with a double, which got the crowd roaring and the offense looking to drive him in. Eaton laid down a bunt to move Anderson to third, and Moncada came out swinging for his first hit of the day — and did just that, hitting a line drive single to center to make it 3-3!
Now, the tension was high, and Abreu was up to the plate. Chants of MVP echoed through the crowd, and with two strikes, Abreu was hit by a pitch, advancing Moncada to second. Yermín Mercedes was looking to be the hero of the day, and almost got the job done with a single to right field. Unfortunately, the Royals outfield was playing in, and Merrifield was able to throw out Moncada at home to prevent the walk-off. This was the second out, and runners were now on first and third with Grandal coming up.
Abreu was on top of the pitcher as he stood anxiously on third, and his instincts paid off after running home on a wild pitch. Catcher, Cam Gallagher, raced to home after retrieving the ball to try and get the tag down, but was too late as Abreu was able to slide around him.
Anyone else get chills on that call by Jason Benetti? What a way to end an exciting day and an amazing game played by both teams. The White Sox move to 24-15 on the season, heading off to Target Field tomorrow to start a series with the Minnesota Twins. It should be a great series, and the team will try and carry their momentum from today and their sweep against the Twins into this series.
Dallas Keuchel will be on the mound against J.A. Happ for the first game, while Super Joseph Resis draws a doubleheader of game recap and Six Pack.
Enjoy the win today, Sox fans, and we will be back out there tomorrow to get another win!