Having won eight of their last 10, the White Sox looked to begin a six-game road trip on a high note. They did that and then some in a lopsided, 16-4 victory Monday night against the Twins.
The White Sox wasted no time, as they put up a crooked number on the board in the top of the first. Tim Anderson and Nick Madrigal started things off with back-to-back singles to set the South Siders up for a big first inning. The middle of the order cashed in on the scoring opportunity. Yoán Moncada drew a walk to load the bases, and Yermín Mercedes put the White Sox on the board with a two-run single. Yasmani Grandal capped off the big first inning with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
The Twins managed to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the second against starter Dallas Keuchel. Back-to-back doubles by Mitch Garver and Rob Refsnyder narrowed Minnesota’s deficit to two runs. However, that was as good as Minnesota’s situation would get.
In the top of the third, a certain second baseman who isn’t known for his power stepped up to the plate. The first pitch was a changeup that missed by plenty for ball one. Then, after taking a well-located slider and changeup, Nick Madrigal was behind in the count, 1-2. Madrigal fouled off a curveball on the low-outside corner to stay alive. Nobody expected what happened next.
There it is, folks. The first career Major League Baseball home run for Nicklaus Michael Madrigal. Yes, this is real life. And yes, it happened about one minute after Jason Benetti and Steve Stone talked about how hard it is to hit home runs at Target Field. Absolutely wild.
The next run of the game was scored by Tim Anderson, who was driven in on an extra-base hit by ... you guessed it. Nick Madrigal. This was Madrigal’s third hit of the day, and it was a double into the right-field corner. Moncada followed with a double of his own, to make it 6-1.
The game got completely out of reach in the fifth, when the White Sox loaded the bases with no outs. Andrew Vaughn led off that inning with a single, Grandal walked (of course he did), and Leury García hit a single to load the bases. Then another player who isn’t known for his power, Danny Mendick, launched a ball over the fence.
B̶a̶s̶e̶s̶ ̶l̶o̶a̶d̶e̶d̶— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 18, 2021
Bases cleared. pic.twitter.com/J5069GAQQn
Grand slam, 10-1 in favor of the White Sox. Oh my goodness, what a performance.
And it wasn’t even over! In the sixth, the White Sox scored four runs for the second straight inning. Moncada led off with a single, and Mercedes doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Vaughn struck out, but Grandal walked again to load the bases. Then, García doubled home a pair, Mendick drove in another with a ground out, and Billy Hamilton hit an RBI single. By the time the sixth inning ended, the White Sox led by a score of 14-1.
While the White Sox hitters destroyed Minnesota pitching, Keuchel had a solid performance. Minnesota’s best inning against him was the sixth, when Andrelton Simmons singled, and Josh Donaldson drove a changeup out to center field. Donaldson’s home run trimmed Minnesota’s deficit to ... 11 runs. Keuchel’s line: seven innings, three runs (all earned), seven hits, no walks, and six strikeouts.
In the eighth, the teams traded runs. The White Sox got their 15th run on a sacrifice fly by Hamilton, and the Twins got their fourth on a Jorge Polanco single. The final run of the game crossed the plate in the ninth, when Mercedes homered against catcher Willians Astudillo.
Whoa, what a game. The White Sox improved to an MLB-best 25-15, while the Twins fell to a dreadful 13-26. What a season it has been for the White Sox.
The White Sox look to continue their hot streak tomorrow night. That game will start at 6:40 p.m. CST, and Lance Lynn is scheduled to face Michael Pineda. NBC Sports Chicago will televise it, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. For SSS, Tommy Barbee has the recap, and Ashley Sanders Superstar is back on the Six Pack of Stats.