The Chicago White Sox are HOT. The team flew by the Baltimore Orioles today, 3-1, to secure their fourth series sweep of the 2021 season. The team has also won six of their last seven games going into their doubleheader against the Cleveland Baseball Team tomorrow.
First, let’s see how the team got the win today and what exciting series of events occurred this afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Lucas Giolito came out firing in the first inning, throwing an immediate 1-2-3 inning while striking out two. Keegan Akin, in his first appearance as a starter this season, fired back as he threw a 1-2-3 inning as well. Giolito also had two strikeouts in the second inning, which was a great start for him and the team. The White Sox had a brief chance in the bottom of the second inning as Akin walked Andrew Vaughn and Leury García with two outs, but Zack Collins was unable to drive them in.
Giolito was rolling relatively well, until a fly ball to right center field just cleared the fence off the bat of DJ Stewart, to make it 1-0 Orioles. That would be the lone run off of Giolito all game for the Orioles. Cedric Mullins had a triple with two outs later in the inning, but Freddy Galvis grounded out (instead of hitting another home run against us this series) to end the inning.
Due up at the top of the third: “Billy The Hitter” Hamilton. The outcome? Another Billy bomb! Yes, you heard that right. Hamilton has shown his power once again this series, hitting his second home run in two games to tie the game 1-1.
Hamilton has homered in back-to-back games just twice in his career now, the first time coming in 2014.
Akin got into some more trouble with two outs, as Yoán Moncada and José Abreu had back-to-back singles, but Yermín Mercedes was unable to drive them in. Both pitchers flew by the fourth inning with 1-2-3 innings, and Giolito had an efficient fifth, striking out the side.
Another opportunity in the bottom of the fifth inning was brewing for the White Sox with one out, as Tim Anderson and Nick Madrigal singled with one out. After striking out Moncada, Akin would be replaced by righty Adam Plutko to face Abreu. Akin had a short but efficient first start of the season, as he went 4 ⅔ innings with five hits, four strikeouts, and just one run.
Plutko walked Abreu to pack the sacks once again for Mercedes, but Yermín’s 102.8 mph grounder was grabbed by Galvis for the third out.
In the sixth, Giolito allowed a one out bunt single to Mullins, a walk to Galvis and a walk to Trey Mancini with one out to load the bases, but fortunately was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout to Anthony Santander and a pop out to Maikel Franco. Giolito’s intensity after that situation was great to see, and his ace status seems to be back as well.
Giolito went back out for the seventh inning and allowed a two-out walk to Stewart, but was able to get the third out without any damage. That would be the end of the day for him, as he went seven innings while allowing three hits, one run, three walks, and had a whopping 12 strikeouts.
As the tie game was still in place going into the eighth inning, righty Dillon Tate started the inning with the top of the order up, and Anderson immediately singled with Madrigal up next. The Anderson/Madrigal at the top of the order experiment seemed to work great today, as the two of them compliment each other very well in the lineup. After a stolen base by Anderson, he advanced to third after Tate threw a pickoff attempt into center field.
Now with the go-ahead run 90 feet away, Madrigal’s job was to make contact, and he did just that and then some, slamming an RBI triple into right field to make it 2-1, White Sox.
Moncada delivered on the next pitch to drive in Madrigal from third base to make it 3-1, and pump up the crowd with the comfortable lead.
Garret Crochet was the pitcher on the mound for the South Siders in the top of the eighth inning, and he proceeded to pitch a 1-2-3 inning to leave it to no other than Liam Hendriks for the save in the ninth inning. Although Hendriks pitched in both games of yesterday’s doubleheader, there was no doubt that he was ready to go back out there today to get the save. With a two-run lead, Hendriks had an easy 1-2-3 inning to secure the White Sox win at home and the four game sweep over the Orioles! It was the first time since Bobby Thigpen in 1991 that a White Sox reliever earned two saves in a doubleheader and saved the next day’s game as well.
Carlos Rodón and Jimmy Lambert will be the starters for tomorrow's doubleheader in Cleveland, as the team looks to grow their lead in the American League Central. The first game will be at 2:05 p.m. CT. Leigh Allan and Ashley Sanders will tag-team for the coverage on the opener, and Joe Resis will double up to deliver the nightcap.
Everyone have a great rest of your Memorial Day weekend, and enjoy the weekend of wins!