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Royals 3, White Sox 2: Offense Goes Missing

Well, that was frustrating

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox
The only time Yoán Moncada reached base tonight was after the ball struck his foot.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox simply could not get it done tonight, as they dropped the series finale to the Kansas City Royals by a score of 3-2. The Royals improved to 47-50, and evened up their season record against the White Sox at 8-8.

Things were rocky for the White Sox from the beginning. The smoke from the pregame fireworks had barely left the premises before things started getting weird. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Adam Engel lost a fly ball in the lights. He was so turned around on the play that the ball bounced all the way to the center-field wall, and two runs scored as a result. You could hear the Royals announcers cackling at the play.

While those two runs would prove to be the difference in tonight’s game, it’d be lazy to pin this loss on one defensive miscue by Engel. The bigger problem with Engel’s night was that he went 0-for-4. So did Tim Anderson. Andrew Vaughn, Yoán Moncada, and Seby Zavala were also held hitless. (Although, to be fair, Zavala’s at-bat in the fifth inning was hijacked by an inexplicable bunt attempt.)

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
The biggest pressure play of the game was Engel’s strikeout with the sacks packed in the fourth.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

You don’t have to be a baseball scholar to know that when five out of the nine guys you send to the plate fail to get a hit, you’re going to have a problem winning that game. The larger issue is that games like these are happening with much more frequency. The White Sox have scored three or less runs in 10 of their last 14 games. If this team wants to enter postseason play with their current hairlines, the offense has to wake up, and fast.

Take heart, friends. It wasn’t all bad. The pitching was solid tonight. Dallas Keuchel posted his first quality start since July 9, going six innings and striking out five. His ERA improved to 4.44. Ryan Tepera and Garrett Crochet each pitched a scoreless frame.

José Abreu also had a good night, going 2-for-4, including this bomb:

Eloy Jiménez also ended an 0-for-13 drought with this RBI double in the eighth:

As has been the case for much of the season, the White Sox didn’t lose any divisional ground with tonight’s loss. The baseball team from Cleveland lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Sox will go into a weekend series with the Cubs holding a 9 12 -game lead in the American League Central.

Here’s hoping that the White Sox will pack their bats as they head north to Wrigley.