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White Sox 9, Royals 1: Bats Come Alive

The South Siders hit for the cycle in the first inning, and never look back

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
The White Sox batted around in the first, pacing an easy win.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals manager Mike Matheny’s strategy of having an all-rookie battery quickly fell apart, as the Sox scored eight runs in the top of the first inning of a 9-1 win.

Hitting for the cycle, and batting around, there were impressive at-bats from hitters 1-9, and they gave Lance Lynn more than enough cushion to start the game. In particular, Yoán Moncada drove in runs from both sides of the plate, and Danny Mendick hit a two-run homer. The only other run came in the ninth inning, courtesy of a Yermín Mercedes single that scored José Abreu.

Lynn, while not giving up any runs and a single hit, didn’t look all that comfortable with the large lead. He executed when needed, but he struggled to find the strike zone with consistency, opting to nibble at the corners instead. The result was a five-inning start, with four walks and six strikeouts, before giving way to Michael Kopech.

Kopech mostly pitched to contact, but was effective until giving up a triple to former White Sox Jarrod Dyson, who later scored to put the Royals on the board. Kopech then went through the odd move of being removed from the game, but sent to the bullpen to up his pitch count, in preparation for a start in next Friday’s doubleheader ... vs. Kansas City.

With the bullpen not getting much recent work, Matt Foster and Evan Marshall made appearances, both of which were solid and relatively stress-free.

The only misadventure in the outfield was courtesy of Leury García, who was just short of catching a deep fly ball to center field. Mendick only needed to flash his RF chops (!) a few times, on tall fly balls that were caught without much drama.

It was an impressive win for the White Sox, as the team never gave the Royals a chance to crawl their way back into the ballgame.

The Sox will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 p.m. Ashley Sanders Superstar is on the Six Pack of Stats, and in a bit of early-season kismet, Sanders protege Hannah LaMotta has your SSS coverage proper.