Way to make a statement! The Chicago White Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-2, in a great game all-around for the team after a rough injury-related day yesterday. The ballpark and overall energy were electric, and the White Sox were able to grab the series win.
Dallas Keuchel got off to a great start in the top of the first, producing a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout. The South Siders came out fighting right off the bat in the bottom of the inning with lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound. Yermín Mercedes, newly in the 2-spot, ripped a two-strike double to left field. After an out by Yoán Moncada, José Abreu delivered in a big way, hitting a two-out double to right field to make it 1-0.
With Abreu on second base, Yasmani Grandal, who continues to heat up and hit home runs, hit a first-pitch home run to right to make it 3-0. It was important in this game to jump on Ryu early, and that’s exactly what the White Sox did.
Keuchel produced another 1-2-3 inning in the second, recording two strikeouts. Ryu was able to slow the Chicago offense down in the bottom of the second with a 1-2-3 inning. Keuchel started off the top of the third with two more strikeouts, and was able to get out of the inning cleanly after recording a two-out walk to Santiago Espinal. Mercedes got his second hit of the night in the bottom of the third inning with one out, but was stranded after a Moncada strikeout and Abreu ground out.
MVPito flashed more of his leather on the field, as he made a terrific play on a fly ball from Bo Bichette to start the fourth inning.
Keuchel allowed his first base runner of the night shortly after with a two-out single to Teoscar Hernández, but was able to get out of the inning without damage. Grandal started off the bottom of the inning with a walk, but Andrew Vaughn grounded into a double play to clear the bases. Leury García was also stranded on the bases after hitting a two-out single to center.
In the top of the fifth inning, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. started off the inning with a strikeout with Keuchel on the mound, but then trouble started to brew. Joe Panik hit an infield single with one out, followed by Espinal hitting a single with two outs to put runners on second and first. Marcus Semien hit a line-drive single to center field to trim the Sox lead to 3-1. Fortunately, Keuchel was able to get out of the jam after a huge strikeout to Bichette.
Ryu had a quick 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth, while Keuchel allowed a leadoff single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to start the top of the sixth. After a strikeout to Hernández, Randal Grichuk had a ground ball to third base that should have been an inning-ending double play, but unfortunately Moncada was unaware of how many outs there were and only threw to get the out at first base.
Guerrero Jr. was off to the races after a wild pitch and advanced to third, which allowed him to score on a single from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to make it a 3-2 ballgame. Keuchel ended the scoring there, getting out of the inning with just the one run. He went six innings with six hits, two runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts.
Evan Marshall came in to pitch in the top of the seventh inning and allowed a single to Espinal but quickly got out of the jam after Semien grounded into a double play. He then struck out Bichette to end the inning. Anthony Castro came in to relieve Ryu in the bottom half of the inning. Ryu had a decent outing and settled down after the first inning, only allowing two singles and a walk after Grandal’s home run. His final stat line was six innings pitched, five hits, three runs, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Castro was looking like he was going to come out on top with a 1-2-3 inning, until Adam Engel struck with two down! How back is Engel? Well, in his first hit since returning to Chicago he delivered in a huge way, smacking a home run into left-center field to make it 4-2.
We’ve always known his defense was there, but if Engel can start to hit the ball too, it can be huge for this offense.
Codi Heuer replaced Marshall in the top of the eighth, recording a 1-2-3 inning. Joel Payamps replaced Castro in the bottom of the inning, allowing a leadoff walk to Tim Anderson. With two outs, Pito delivered another insurance run on a double to left field, allowing Anderson to speed around the bases and score from first making it 5-2.
In a save situation, Liam Hendriks stepped up the mound to close it out. Hendriks came into the game with a whopping 40 strikeouts and just three walks, looking for his 16th save. He allowed a one-out single to Panik, but recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the game, and showed some emotion while he was at it.
Overall, this was a great bounce-back game and a team win. The starting pitching looked great, the bullpen was spectacular, and the offense delivered when it needed to most. By the way, this is some good news when it comes to past injuries.
Hahn on Robert and Jimenez: "Each of them are deep into Phase 1 and closing in on getting ready for Part 2, which is the clearance and resumption of baseball activity.”— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) June 11, 2021
Now at 38-24, the South Siders will head to Detroit to start a three-game series against the Tigers. The first game of the series will be at 6:10 p.m. CT tomorrow night, and Lucas Giolito will be on the mound. Colleen Sullivan has your game coverage, with Ashley Sanders on the Six Pack of Stats.