Andrew Vaughn’s two-month major league career already has been packed with highlights, but his role in tonight’s 6-1 win over the Blue Jays might be his best reel yet.
Vaughn shook up a cruising Robbie Ray with a 395-foot shot out to right-center to tie the game 1-1 in the seventh, and one inning later stood in with the bases full and delivered the difference-maker, nearly as long a blast that fell in for a mere sacrifice fly.
It looked like it would be a longer night for the South Siders, however. The Blue Jays wasted no time getting on the board early. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led off the second inning with a double to center that nearly left the park (386 feet). Santiago Espinal followed with a single to put runs on the corners, and Jonathan Davis hit a sacrifice fly to score Gurriel.
The top of the third appeared to be heading in a terrible direction, when the Blue Jays got back-to-back singles to open the inning. However, Carlos Rodón struck out Teoscar Hernández with a brilliant 98-mph fastball that was aided by some nice framing by Yasmani Grandal. Then, Rodón got Randal Grichuk to ground into a double play to get out of the jam.
Rodón also ran into trouble in the fifth, as catcher Riley Adams led off with a double for his first hit in the majors. After a two-out walk to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rodón fell behind 3-0 to Hernández, and the next pitch was launched high and deep to right. Baseball Savant classifies that fly ball as a barrel, meaning Hernández made great contact (106.3 mph exit veloicty, 39-degree launch angle). But Hernández just got under it, and that was just enough to keep it in the park, as Adam Engel caught it in center.
Meanwhile, Blue Jays starter Ray was phenomenal, executing his slider to near-perfection from start to finish, getting tons of swings and misses. In fact, Ray threw 46 sliders, and 14 of them resulted in whiffs, an astounding rate of 30%. Ray finished with 13 strikeouts and no walks. However, right before Ray left the game in the seventh, Vaughn made sure that he could not escape with a win.
Vaughn in the clutch and we're all tied up! pic.twitter.com/zlChCuaiH2— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) June 9, 2021
Ray was promptly removed from the game after that home run, and all of a sudden, the game was tied once again.
After Vaughn’s homer, Adam Engel walked, Tim Anderson singled, and Nick Madrigal drew a two-out walk to load the bases. That brought up Yoán Moncada with an opportunity to give the White Sox a late lead, but he struck out looking to end the threat.
Rather than get too bummed out about leaving runs on the table and, potentially, a win, the White Sox went right back to work in the eighth, with the key run production once again coming from the rookie.
The White Sox jumped on new Jays hurler Trent Thornton, José Abreu and Yermín Mercedes singling, and Grandal walking (what new). After a sneeze of 14 pitches, the sacks were packed with Sox and the man of the hour, or earlier inning at least, came to the plate.
Vaughn’s contact launched the ball just five feet shorter (390) than his homer, but to a deeper center field, the ball died at the wall. Still, a sacrifice fly and eventual game-winning RBI for the big fella.
But the number got crooked quick for the White Sox, as the South Siders didn’t stop now, plating four more runs: Adam Eaton single, Leury García triple, Anderson sac fly.
Liam Hendriks, warming to anticipate a save situation in a close game and not a sudden blowout in the ninth, came in hot and took just 11 pitches to seal the win (no Ks, and a Rowdy Tellez double mashed in there in the ninth, but hey, the Amped Aussie was a bit deflated, no save and all).
The White Sox leap to 37-23 and remain four games up on Cleveland.
Tomorrow’s coverage, just like tonight’s, apparently, is a bit up in the air for SSS. The SSS recapper, just like the White Sox starter, is TBD. On the Six Pack of Stats is the one and only, undefeated, Chrystal O’Keefe.
No Six Pack of Stats tonight, folks, but here are your game polls and Roll Call.
Who was the MVP of Chicago’s 6-1 win over Toronto on Tuesday night?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, GWRBI, K, LOB, SF, .215 WPA
Carlos Rodón: 5 IP, 6 H, ER, 2 BB, 8 K, WP, .135 WPA
Garrett Crochet: IP, 2 K, 14 pitches/8 strikes, WIN, .105 WPA
Tim Anderson: 2-for-4, RBI, 2 K, LOB, SB, SF, .046 WPA
Leury García: 2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, R, K, LOB, -.014 WPA
Who was the Cold Cat of Chicago’s 6-1 win over Toronto on Tuesday night?
This poll is closed
Yoán Moncada: 1-for-5, 3 K, SB, 5 LOB, -.118 WPA
Nick Madrigal: 1-for-4, BB, K, LOB, -.057 WPA
José Abreu: 1-for-4, R, 2 K, 2 LOB, -.039 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
It was a 175-comment gamethread that picked up some legs late. Schoolly_D got the easy win, and not all of his comments were along the lines of “where is everybody,” even.
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Talk about some excuse-me green, but in what might be a first this season, South Side Expat stopped by for one comment, and ran up six recs. That’s some sweet voodoo, SSE.