The White Sox (83-61) opened up a three-game series on the South Side against the Angels (70-74) with a bang. A solid all-around performance ensured a relatively easy victory for the South Siders Tuesday night.
After retiring the first two batters of the game, the third Angel to come up to bat did some damage. Left fielder Phil Gosselin swung at a first-pitch fastball from starter Lucas Giolito, and he crushed it just hard enough to clear the left field wall. That was Gosselin’s sixth home run of the season, and it gave the Angels a 1-0 lead.
However, the South Siders did not stay behind long. In the bottom of the second, Luis Robert smoked one 434 feet that left the yard by plenty.
That was Robert’s eighth home run of the season, and he would likely have about 25 if not for his injury earlier in the year.
Then, after a Leury García double, Gavin Sheets put the White Sox ahead with an RBI single.
The positive vibes continued in the top of the third, when Eloy Jiménez made an excellent catch up against the wall (yes, really).
*exhale*— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 15, 2021
We've got a man there! pic.twitter.com/JhpztYCs6H
In the third, the White Sox were still leading by a score of 2-1. After Yasmani Grandal grounded into a double play, there were two outs and nobody on base. From there, though, they blew the game wide open. Jiménez singled, Luis Robert doubled, and García drove in an insurance run with a single. Then, Gavin Sheets did this:
That was the ninth home run of Sheets’ young MLB career, and as it turned out, the White Sox did not need more offense after that. In the blink of an eye, the White Sox had a 6-1 lead, which was more than enough to hold off the Angels.
On the pitching side, in the fourth, Giolito gave up another home run that just barely got out. The two-run homer by Jared Walsh trimmed the Angels’ deficit to three. That home run had an xBA of only .170, and Gosselin’s first inning homer had only a .300 xBA. So, the three runs that scored on those homers were pretty unlucky for Giolito.
The good news is that those were the only runs that Giolito allowed during his four innings on the mound, and he struck out eight. From there, the bullpen made it easy. The White Sox used scoreless appearances from Mike Wright Jr., José Ruiz, Aaron Bummer, Ryan Burr, and Jace Fry to keep this from getting close down the stretch. The only hiccup came in the fifth inning, when Wright walked three batters. However, he pitched out of the jam to keep the Angels off the board. The South Siders added some insurance runs, too, as Grandal and César Hernández each had an RBI single. The White Sox scored one more on a balk to wrap up the scoring and make it 9-3.
The White Sox are back in action tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. Central. Dallas Keuchel and Janson Junk are the probable starting pitchers. As usual, the game will be on NBC Sports Chicago, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. Let’s hope it goes as well as tonight.