Yet another frustrating loss struck the Chicago White Sox tonight, as they lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-1, after a two-out rally in the eighth at Rogers Centre. The game was neck-and-neck the entire time, thanks to two fantastic pitchers going head-to-head in Lucas Giolito and Robbie Ray.
First off, you have to tip your cap to Ray, who broke a record tonight as he became the first left-handed pitcher in Blue Jays history to strike out 14 batters in a game. He did so in seven innings of work. To go along with that statistic, he also now leads the American League in strikeouts, with 192.
It’s safe to say he was rolling along the whole night, starting with a scoreless first two innings. In the top of the third, he gave up the lone White Sox run of the game after a base hit by Yoán Moncada. It was a case of incredible base running by Leury García as well, who started off the inning with a single, and then proceeded to steal second and third base before Moncada’s two-out RBI.
Ray struck out at least two batters in each inning from the top of the fourth to the top of the seventh inning. He left the ballgame in a 1-1 tie after seven innings and his final pitching line was five hits, one run, one walk, and 14 strikeouts.
Giolito had a night of his own, as he rolled through the Blue Jays lineup at the beginning of the game. The trouble started for him in the bottom of the fourth inning as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled with one out. After a strikeout to Teóscar Hernández, Corey Dickerson came out swinging on the first pitch and hit a triple to right center field to score Guerrero Jr. and tie the ballgame 1-1.
Giolito escaped a jam in the sixth inning after allowing two base runners, but that traffic ended his night. Giolito went six innings with just five hits, one run, and six strikeouts. One positive thing to come from tonight is the fact that he has looked great as of recently, which is always good to see as we approach the end of the season and look toward October.
Ryan Tepera pitched a scoreless seventh inning, as did Tim Mayza for the Blue Jays in the top of the eighth inning.
Aaron Bummer looked like he was going to have a great scoreless eighth inning, as he struck out the first two batters he faced. With two outs, Hernández singled, followed by pinch-hitter Breyvic Valera singling to put runners on first and second. Alejandro Kirk came up clutch, as he singled to give the Blue Jays the 2-1 lead.
José Ruíz came in to replace Bummer, which was an interesting choice yet again. Ruíz has been great in low-leverage situations, but has had some questionable outings in close games. Lourdes Gurriel reached on an error by Moncada that extended the inning, and a bases-loaded walk to Randal Grichuk extended the Blue Jays lead to 3-1.
Jordan Romano came in to close the ball game, and the South Siders started to get something going after a leadoff single by Luis Robert, but Andrew Vaughn came up short after grounding into a double play to clear the bases. César Hernández would fly out to end the game.
Losses like these tend to sting the most, but we can’t be down for long, considering these teams will battle it out tomorrow afternoon in the final game of this four-game set. Carlos Rodón is back and will get the start tomorrow, and we are one step closer to the return of Yasmani Grandal, which the offense could really use right now. Let’s rebound tomorrow and tie the series before heading back home!