The White Sox stayed hot and got their nine-game road trip off to a good start on Friday, with an 8-2 win in Detroit, powered by a laboring Lance Lynn and some rookie magic.
The White Sox struck early in the first inning. Tim Anderson started the offense with a single off a sinker from Casey Mize. He was brought around the bases on a ground out from Gavin Sheets and single from Yasmani Grandal. Grandal took a trip around the bases when Brian Goodwin hit a dart to left center for a triple off another Mize sinker, bringing things to 2-0 for the White Sox. Andrew Vaughn grounded out to short, which ended the inning for Mize and brought Lance Lynn to the mound.
Lynn struggled through his first, with 24 pitches, a walk, and two stolen bases — but zero runs.
Jake Burger’s first major league at-bat came in the second inning. Adam Eaton, back in the line-up post IL stint, singled to lead off, but unfortunately Burger grounded into a double play in his debut at the plate (they can’t all be winners). Danny Mendick struck out and the second inning was brought to an abrupt end. Lynn answered back with a 1-2-3 half inning of his own.
Casey Mize was out by the fourth inning, replaced with Tyler Alexander, because of inning limits or something (Mize was at 56 pitches by the end of the third). Considering the limits of the Tigers bullpen, this may not have been the best choice by A.J. Hinch. Alexander managed to make it out of his inning unscathed, though, and he was replaced by Erasmo Ramirez partway through the fifth.
The bottom of the fifth saw Grandal being replaced by Zack Collins (the official reason being “left calf tightness,” and Seby Zavala was simultaneously removed from Charlotte’s game, in case he needs to report to Detroit for backup backstop duty). Lynn had a bit of a struggle getting out of the inning, though. After Willi Castro struck out swinging, Lynn gave up a single to Jake Rogers followed by another to Akil Baddoo. A sac fly from Jonathan Schoop scored Rogers and it brought the Tigers within one. Lynn was able to force Miguel Cabrera into a ground out but not before Baddoo stole second and Robbie Grossman walked. At this point, Lynn was at 89 pitches, with a one-run lead.
White Sox offense continued to be blanked as they rolled into the sixth. Lynn struggled through five hitters and managed to end the sixth at 117 pitches (still holding on to the one-run lead).
Andrew Vaughn made this amazing catch in the sixth on a Daz Cameron rocket to left, saving a run.
It's a bird!— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 3, 2021
It's a plane!
It's... Andrew Vaughn! pic.twitter.com/Hkj0U3Knp7
The top of the seventh brought some rookie action. Vaughn doubled, bringing Jake Burger up for a second time in the game. Burger managed to get his first major league hit off a can of corn to center that initially looked like it would be caught — but Cameron lost the ball in the lights and it fell behind him. A sac fly by Mendick brought Vaughn in, and the White Sox were up 3-1.
A home run from Vaughn in the top of the ninth against Bryan Garcia gave the White Sox a three-run lead. Vaughn just provided one long highlight reel tonight:
Singles from Adam Eaton and Burger put runners at the corners for Danny Mendick, with no outs in the top of the ninth. Another single from Mendick brought Eaton around to score. Buck Farmer relieved, and Gavin Sheets decided he wanted another home run. He brought home both Mendick and Burger with the effort, making the score 8-1.
Matt Foster came in for the White Sox to close things out, but struggled getting the third out, with two fly outs in a row from Baddoo and Rogers while giving up three singles in a row to Schoop, Grossman, and Nomar Mazara (Mazara getting the RBI to bring things up to 8-2). A fly out to left by Candelario ended the game at 8-2.
White Sox ended the night with at 49-32, now at the halfway point of the season. They’re up six games in the AL Central, with two more in Detroit and then three in Minnesota. A final stop in Baltimore and then we’re at the All-Star break.
Highlight of the night: Jake Burger’s first hit
We'll have a Burger, and make it a double. pic.twitter.com/TMNCopwWt4— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 3, 2021
The production and action of the night came with the help of Sheets, Burger, and Vaughn. Out of the top exit velocity, three were from the rookies:
With Chicago’s top hitters either injured or slumping, it’s great to see production out of the lesser-knowns and the rookies. It’s shaping up to be an interesting series for the White Sox if things continue this way: