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White Sox 5, Tigers 4: Liam Hendriks, Rainmaker

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Our closer brings the rain — and an extra inning

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers
Liam Hendriks of the Chicago White Sox gestures to the umpire after pitching one pitch to Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and then rejecting the replacement baseball as rain fell during the ninth inning of a game against Detroit at Comerica Park on June 11, 2021.
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The game stretched on a touch longer than it needed to, mostly due to a rain delay but also due to a bottom-of-the-ninth homer. Let’s recap this wild ride, ending in a 5-4 win for the White Sox.

The South Siders had the potential to make some offensive noise early in the first with Tarik Skubal issuing a one-out walk to Yermín Mercedes, followed immediately by a walk to Yoán Moncada. José Abreu came up and lined out, but an error on a throw from Harold Castro still managed to advance both Mercedes and Moncada. Unfortunately, the White Sox were unable to capitalize, as Andrew Vaughn came up and struck out.

Lucas Giolito came out and tossed 15 pitches in the first, walking only Jonathan Schoop while forcing the rest of the order he faced to put the ball in play for outs. Everyone flied out — it was quick and clean.

Going into the second, the first pitch Adam Engel saw he took out for a dart to left field. Everyone was surprised it was gone because it really wasn’t that elevated.

Nothing else exciting happened in the second except for Danny Mendick making out No. 3 through some bad base running getting him into a rundown, which we really could have done without.

Nomar Mazara managed to homer in the bottom of the second to tie things up (I know, I had to double check that myself). This was an especially tough inning for Giolito, as he ended up facing six batters and throwing 24 pitches. The plate ump’s strike zone seemed to basically be “It has to be exactly down the middle for it to be a strike.” But Giolito is a professional, and managed to get out of the inning by only allowing the Mazara home run.

The White Sox managed to break away in the fourth. Abreu doubled to right and was then advanced to third on a single from Andrew Vaughn. Engel managed to ground into a double play to get both himself and Vaughn out, but allowed Abreu to score and make it 2-1, Sox. That was the end of the offense, as Leury García decided he didn’t want to run the bases and grounded out.

Small-ball offense continued on through the fifth, with Zack Collins doubling to right and being brought around to score on a single to center by Mendick, and it was 3-1. Unfortunately, the bottom of the fifth cut the lead by one with a home run from Isaac Paredes (his first of the season).

As revenge, Giolito got out of the inning with three straight strikeouts and some nasty changeup action.

Abreu’s night continued to be up-and-down, as he struck out swinging to start off the sixth. Vaughn walked and then moved up to second on a liner from Engel. A throwing error to first by Jake Rogers brought Vaughn around to score, but Engel got caught in the rundown between second and third for the second out of the inning. Another strikeout by García, and the inning was over. The Sox were up 4-2, and no one was mad about that particular rundown because it was less “stupid base running mistake” and more “Joe McEwing can only direct one player at a time and couldn’t stop Engel at second.”

The top of the seventh brought in Joe Jimenez to face the White Sox, A.J. Hinch giving Skubal a reprieve. Skubal lasted six innings and allowed seven hits, three earned runs, and six strikeouts, ending the game with a 4.35 ERA. Jimenez went through Collins, Mendick, and Tim Anderson to end his inning. Garrett Crochet came in at the bottom of the seventh to replace Giolito, who had a respectable night, allowing five hits, two earned runs (home runs), one walk, and nine strikeouts through six innings. Crochet navigated through his innings with no hits or runs, extending his scoreless streak with a terrific, two-inning effort.

When Liam Hendriks was brought in for the bottom of the ninth, a downpour triggered a rain delay.

Apparently Detroit announcers called this a “temper tantrum” from Hendriks, so they can go kick rocks because it’s safe to say that pitching in a monsoon is dangerous.

After about a half-hour, the game was back on and we were treated to Hendriks vs. Cabrera. Cabrera singled, and was then pinch-run for by Willi Castro. Eric Haase was the first out on a pop, and it looked like we were closing in on the end of the game. Daz Cameron had other plans, and hit a two-run homer off of Hendriks to tie the game. Paredes flied out, Goodrum struck out, and that was the end of that inning. Hendriks had some, uh, colorful thoughts afterward.

So we were in the 10th inning with a runner on second (Mendick, in this case). Anderson got walked and Mercedes flied out to center, which sent Mendick to third. Moncada hit a sac fly to center and Mendick managed to score on some speedy running and a not-quite-close-enough tag at the plate.

Abreu grounded out second, and that brought us to the bottom of the 10th. Aaron Bummer came out to face the Tigers, and Niko Goodrum started off as the Tigers runner on second. Bummer walked Rogers and struck out both Robbie Grossman and Harold Castro. With a ground out by Jonathan Schoop to Mendick, the ballgame was ovah.

Enjoy some Tim Anderson and Billy Hamilton dances, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow at 3:10 p.m.