After the exciting series victory over Cleveland (52-52), the White Sox (63-44) looked to keep the good times rolling against the Royals (45-60). The South Siders jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in tonight’s victory.
Both pitchers had a smooth first inning on the mound, and Dylan Cease had an easy second. Kris Bubic of the Royals, however, ran into trouble in the bottom of the second. With two outs and nobody on, Andrew Vaughn launched a long one to center field.
That was Vaughn’s 12th home run of the season, and it gave the White Sox an early lead. Vaughn continues to trend in the right direction at the plate. On June 27, Vaughn had a .688 OPS, but that has increased since to .776.
The party continued in the third, specifically the pasta party. After Seby Zavala drew a dreaded leadoff walk, Tim Anderson launched an oppo taco to right for his 10th home run of the year.
That gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead, and those three runs proved to be more than enough for Cease and the bullpen.
Cease was on top of his game tonight, as he was very difficult to solve. Usually, when pitchers have 11 strikeouts and only two walks, that reveals a lot about how well they performed, and tonight was no exception. Cease allowed only one hit during his six innings on the mound. The Royals had trouble putting runners in scoring position, and could not score with Cease on the mound.
The Royals finally got on the board in the top of the seventh, after Michael Kopech took over. Hunter Dozier led off with a triple, and Ryan O’Hearn drove him in with a sacrifice fly. That cut Kansas City’s deficit to two, but Kopech retired the next two he faced to bring us to the seventh-inning stretch.
Then, the White Sox added a few insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh after control eluded Kansas City’s relievers. Kyle Zimmer took over on the mound, faced three batters, and walked all of them. Richard Lovelady relieved Zimmer — and he issued a walk to Zavala to force in a run. Anderson drove in another run with a single, and Abreu tacked on a pair with another single. That made it 7-1, and the game was out of reach.
Garrett Crochet and new friend Ryan Tepera were excellent, as the eighth and ninth innings were devoid of drama. As a result, the White Sox held on for an easy victory.
Lucas Giolito and Carlos Hernández are the tomorrow’s probable starting pitchers. As usual, NBC Sports Chicago will televise it, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. That game will start at 7:10 p.m. CST.
Bill Meincke has the recap of the game at SSS, with good-luck charm Chrystal O’Keefe, fresh from a road trip to PNC Park, rocking the Six Pack. We will see you then.