It was quite a game, White Sox fans. Stuff happened, César Hernández took the field against his old team, and the White Sox were definitely not coming in hot to the series. Let’s get to it.
Bradley Zimmer got things started off at the top of the first with a single to center. Amed Rosario quickly followed up with a double to right that was misread by Brian Goodwin. Luckily, Zimmer also misread and didn’t score. The bases were loaded up when José Ramírez was hit by a pitch, and Franmil Reyes came up to bat. Reyes took advantage of a cutter right off the plate for two-run RBI single. Ramírez was thrown out at third by Leury García, but Cleveland had an early lead on the first four batters of the game. The second and third outs of the inning came when Lynn struck out Harold Ramirez and Daniel Johnson, respectively.
Meanwhile, the White Sox offense was off to the same kind of start as the past week: dismal.
But the White Sox drew blood with a home run by Yoán Moncada in the bottom of the second. Typically, that would not have been out of the park, but a, uh, weird collision by Zimmer and Johnson knocked it over to home-run territory.
The White Sox looked alive again in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Moncada singled and Vaughn walked to bring Goodwin back up. After seeing about five changeups, Goodwin singled to bring Moncada around, Vaughn to third, and just like that the game was tied, 2-2. García hit a slow, fielder’s choice grounder to second, which scored Vaughn. García hustled and was barely safe at first, giving the White Sox a 3-2 lead.
Cleveland tied it up, 3-3 in the fifth, but the White Sox came right back.
At the bottom of the fifth, Anderson grounded out and continued his streak of spotty hitting. Hernández followed, with his first hit as a member of the White Sox, a single to right. With a walk to Abreu, the White Sox had two on and one out. After walking Sheets to load the bases, that was the end of Mejía’s outing. Blake Parker came in and struck out Moncada, only to walk Vaughn and force in Hernández. With a 4-3 lead, Goodwin came up and almost had a grand slam (it was foul, sadly), but struck out to end the inning.
With the lead, Lynn’s night was over, finishing the game with seven hits, three earned runs, seven strikeouts, one walk, and 104 pitches. Garrett Crochet came on for a clean outing, going 1-2-3 against the Cleveland batters.
The top of the eighth brought out new-to-us Ryan Tepera in his first relief outing as a member of the White Sox bullpen. He gave up a home run to Franmil Reyes that tied the game, 4-4. After giving up two singles, Tepera was yanked, making way for José Ruíz. Ruíz managed to get the three batters he faced out, keeping the score deadlocked at 4-4.
James Karinchak came on in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a single to García, and a smattering of errors got him to third. Zack Collins (pinch-hitting for Seby Zavala) walked, putting runners on first and third with no outs. A single from Anderson to right brought García home, giving the White Sox a 5-4 lead with no outs. A bunt that worked (!) from Hernández had the bases loaded. Unfortunately, Abreu was hit in the head by a pitch (in the helmet, and he was OK, thankfully). That scored a run, and it was a 6-4 lead.
Abreu hit in the head by a pitch and benches clear pic.twitter.com/yjle7zEuu6— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) July 31, 2021
Karinchak was obviously upset that his errant throw went the way it did, and ended up being replaced with Nate Wittgren. After striking out Sheets and Moncada, Billy Hamilton was brought in to pinch-hit for Vaughn. but struck out to end the inning.
Liam Hendriks came in to close out the night and went 1-2-3, ending of a very weird game.
Come back tomorrow, where I’m sure it’ll be just as bizarre as tonight. If it’s not, don’t blame me. I can’t see into the future — I’m not a witch.