Well, I thought the small fire that started in my kitchen was going to be the worst thing that happened today, but the first inning was ROUGH. Bad luck had a ground ball from Wander Franco literally hop over Yoán Moncada’s head on what should have been the third out, but instead brought Nelson Cruz in to score. The Rays were then able to put up two more before the inning was over, making it 3-0.
What a Wanderful bounce! pic.twitter.com/s0zQbYuKDl— Tampa Bay Devil Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 21, 2021
Despite a leadoff double by Moncada (is he good again?) followed by a walk for Andrew Vaughn, the White Sox were unable to score.
The Rays put up another in the bottom of the second, but César Hernández saved any further damage with a stab that should be illegal.
The Sox finally scored in the third off a solo-dong from emergent slugger Bernardo Sebastian, making it 4-1.
Seby solo shot.@__piece36 | @NBCSChicago pic.twitter.com/6MR28As9H3— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 21, 2021
The Rays came right back, however, with a triple from Mike Zunino and RBI single from Joey Wendle. Unfortunately, the Sox offense did not return the favor, and then the Rays scored again in the bottom of the fifth, making it 6-1. Ugh.
At this point, people were wondering (I’m people), will the White Sox offense do something? Well, José Abreu and Eloy Jiménez answered our (my) question, with a two-out double for José and an RBI single for Eloy bringing the score to 6-2. Things started to feel like they were getting going following a passed ball that pushed Eloy to second, but the inning ended shortly thereafter on a Moncada ground out (is he bad again?).
Mike Wright came in to relieve Dallas Keuchel (and all of us) in the sixth for a 1-2-3 inning.
Things almost got exciting in the top of the seventh with an Andrew Vaughn single and a Danny Mendick double, but once again the White Sox were unable to score. In the bottom of the inning Wright gave up a one-out walk to Yandy Diaz but he was not long for the basepath, as he was caught stealing.
Seby Zavala throws out Yandy Díaz.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 21, 2021
Snaps a streak of 20 straight successful steal attempts against the White Sox.
Things FINALLY started getting cooking for the White Sox offense in the eighth. With a single for Hernández followed by a Brian Goodwin double, Abreu sac fly and an RBI ground out for Jiménez, the Sox brought the score to 6-4.
With that RBI, José Abreu surpasses Carlton Fisk for sole possession of seventh place in White Sox history. #ChangeTheGame pic.twitter.com/MCpcYyHisI— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 21, 2021
The inning ended on a Moncada strike out and a Jason Benetti shout-out to The Jewels.
The Rays didn’t love the potential White Sox rally, though, so they tacked on two in the bottom of the eighth, which sucked.
The White Sox were retired fairly quickly in the top of the ninth, falling to the Rays, 8-4. While disappointing, it could have been worse considering two of our hottest hitters (no, not Yoán Moncada) were on the bench the whole game. Tune in tomorrow at 12:10 p.m. for the rubber match, broadcast by NBC Sports Chicago and TBS (?).
P.S. You NEED to see Yaz, Jake Burger, and Gavin Sheets dressed up as traffic cones.
CAUTION! Time is running out to bid on these jerseys!https://t.co/C2OAZDgM9j pic.twitter.com/Liq7ERIc1j— Charlotte Knights (@KnightsBaseball) August 21, 2021