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Royals 4, White Sox 3: Soler Dominates, Spoils Eloy’s Return

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Ninth-inning rally falls short in Kansas City

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals
Not enough: Dallas Keuchel got through six innings, but the three solo home runs he allowed put the White Sox in a hole they could not escape.
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The White Sox (59-41) were looking to build on their win on Sunday Night Baseball with a victory over Kansas City (43-55). However, even though Eloy Jiménez returned to play for the first time this season, the South Siders could not get it done.

Though all eyes were on Jiménez, it was Mike Minor and Jorge Soler who took control of the game early on. When Soler came to bat in the bottom of the second, the game was scoreless. In fact, all nine batters who had stepped up to the plate up to that point had been retired. However, Soler broke that streak with a 449-foot home run, his 12th of the season.

Minor kept cruising through the White Sox lineup, and Dallas Keuchel recovered nicely after that long home run. Keuchel had another 1-2-3 inning in the third to keep the deficit at one. Through four innings, there were only two hits in the game. Unfortunately, both were by Jorge Soler, and both went more than 400 feet, as Soler launched another long home run in the fourth, and it was 2-0.

In the fifth, the Royals added an insurance run with some late life. With two outs and nobody on base, Jarrod Dyson and Whit Merrifield hit back-to-back doubles.

The White Sox rallied and got two of those runs back in the top of the sixth. Seby Zavala drew a leadoff walk, and Tim Anderson smacked a double off of the base of the wall. Then, Andrew Vaughn continued swinging a hot bat, as he slashed a single to right. Zavala and Anderson scored, and it was 3-2. All of that happened with no outs, but the White Sox could not manage to cash in the tying run.

The Royals extended their lead back to two in the bottom half, as Keuchel gave up his third solo home run of the game. This time, Andrew Benintendi was the batter, and he hit it 402 feet to make the score 4-2. Keuchel’s final line was six innings, four runs (all earned), six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.

Now, on to Eloy, who had a quiet night in his return. In Eloy’s first at-bat, Minor broke his bat to force a routine ground out to shortstop. In AB No. 2, Jiménez hit a chopper down the third base line that barely stayed fair. Hunter Dozier got to it and made a strong throw to first that beat Jiménez by half a step. Jiménez struck out in his third at-bat, as Minor got him to chase a high fastball out of the zone.

Codi Heuer delivered a scoreless seventh inning, and although he loaded the bases, Garrett Crochet did the same in the eighth. As a result of their reliability, the score remained 4-2 until the ninth.

Jiménez got another opportunity in that frame, leading off against Scott Barlow. Jiménez took a ball to open the AB, but he popped up a high fastball. Carlos Santana caught it rather easily for the first out of the inning, but the White Sox did not go down quietly in the ninth.

Yoán Moncada hit a ground-rule double down the left field line, and Adam Engel sliced a single to score Moncada. That cut the deficit in half, and Barlow, a righthander, stayed in the game to face Brian Goodwin. That was surprising, considering that Goodwin’s stats are much better against righties than lefties.

Goodwin’s at-bat got off to a good start, as he took a close pitch for ball one. Barlow missed badly with the next pitch, so the count was 2-0. The third pitch was placed nicely on the outside corner. Then, in what was perhaps a make-up call for the first pitch, umpire Kerwin Danley called the fourth pitch a strike. That pitch appeared to miss the outside corner by a few inches, but regardless, it evened the count. The count reached 3-2 when Goodwin took one in the dirt, but the sixth pitch went as poorly as it could have gone. With Engel running on the pitch, Goodwin hit a liner to the right side. It was softly hit (66.3 mph exit velocity), but thanks to the launch angle (17 degrees), it had a .520 xBA. Unfortunately, Merrifield was there to make the catch, and Engel had no chance of getting back to first.

The White Sox will get another chance against the Royals tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. CST. Dylan Cease and Brad Keller are the probable starting pitchers. Hopefully, it will go better than tonight’s game did. We will see you then.