What a game.
The Chicago White Sox absolutely obliterated the Minnesota Twins tonight, 13-3, with a much-needed offensive breakout. Everything seemed to be going well for the White Sox, as they improved their overall record to 47-32 and home record to 30-14.
Well, looks like I was wrong about my forecast prediction, considering the 35-minute rain delay to start the game. Following the delay, Dylan Cease started off the first inning by giving up a home run to Josh Donaldson to make it 1-0. That wasn’t exactly what we wanted to see, but that ended up being the only exciting part of the night for Twins fans, so it’s OK.
Cease breezed through the second inning after a strikeout and double play. The lead didn’t last long for the Twins, as Brian Goodwin hit a solo shot off of Bailey Ober in the bottom half of the inning to make it 1-1.
After a Yermín Mercedes walk, Andrew Vaughn joined in on the action with a two-run home run to center to take a 3-1 lead. Vaughn has looked great against right-handed pitchers recently, which is always a great sign of growth.
Following that, we may have heard what was the loudest crowd reaction to a third-inning strikeout in MLB history, as Cease struck out Donaldson on a filthy slider.
With two outs in the bottom half, José Abreu smashed a solo home run to right, as he increased the lead to 4-1. That’s a great sign for Abreu, who is looking to get back on track with the bat.
Cease ran into some trouble in the top of the fourth inning, allowing a double to Nelson Cruz, followed by a walk to Max Kepler. Two force outs ended the inning without any damage.
Goodwin started off the bottom of the fourth with a walk. With one out, Gavin Sheets singled, which ended the night for Ober. He pitched just 3 1⁄3 innings and was responsible for four hits, five runs, and two walks. Matt Shoemaker replaced him and immediately gave up a run on a Vaughn sacrifice fly, making it 5-1.
The bottom of the fifth inning was rally time for the South Siders, which started on a one-out single by Yoán Moncada. Abreu was hit by a pitch, to put two on for Yasmani Grandal. Grandal continued his offensive surge with a three-run home run to center field that jumped in and out of the glove of Nick Gordon (fooling just about everyone for a few seconds), to make it 8-1.
With two outs, Mercedes drew in second walk of the day, bringing up Gavin Sheets. And .. another milestone:
Have a debut series, Sheets! He displayed some power of his own, as he blasted a two-run home run to center field for his first of hopefully many in the major leagues, and a 10-1 lead. It is also important to note that he had a great at-bat overall, underscoring how comfortable he looks in the box.
The inning continued after back-to-back singles by Vaughn and Leury García to put runners back on first and second. Tim Anderson made his contribution to the scoring, driving an RBI single up the middle to extend the lead to 11-1.
Cease started off the top of the sixth inning with back-to-back strikeouts, including another one to Donaldson. Nelson Cruz hit a two-out moonshot to left, which isn’t too much of a surprise anymore, to make it a 11-2 ballgame. Cease ended the inning with another strikeout, to Max Kepler.
Shoemaker started the bottom of the inning with a walk to Abreu. Grandal continued the home run parade with a two-run shot to right, his second of the night, recording his fourth and fifth RBIs of the game, and running the score up to 13-2.
This is your daily reminder to vote Yaz for the All-Star Game, so we can see one of those beautiful bat drops in Coors Field.
Garrett Crochet replaced Cease to start the top of the seventh and recorded a 1-2-3 inning. Cease had a great start, going six innings and recording just three hits, two runs, and seven strikeouts. He is now undefeated at home in his first eight starts to begin the season.
The Twins hit their third solo home run of the night after Gilberto Celestino got a hold of one against Zack Burdi in the eighth inning, but José Ruiz was able to close out the game in the ninth to secure the win.
The White Sox started off the game last in the American League in home runs with 78. Tonight, they had six home runs, which was just what they needed to bring that number up significantly. The team ended June with a winning month, at 14-11, and will go into July somewhat comfortably in first place, as Cleveland lost a doubleheader today.
Now it’s time to get some sleep and be ready for the series finale tomorrow afternoon, as Carlos Rodón and José Berríos face off. Game time is at 1:10 p.m. CT, and a series sweep would look great as the team closes out their homestand!