Well, at least it was excitingly close.
For about five minutes, anyway.
Actually, it was close for quite a while early, and at one point, it even looked like the White Sox were going to jump out way ahead. On the first three pitches of the game, Leury García and Luis Robert singled off Alek Manoah (OK, Luis’ should have been an E-5 and Leury’s really could have caught as well, but that’s quibbling).
Yoán Moncada then popped out and José Abreu K’d, after which Manoah did something really smart — he walked Gavin Sheets, which loaded the bases. which meant no runs would score, because the White Sox hit worse than .100 with the bases loaded. Sure enough, Yasmani Grandal, after being victimized by a bad call on an outside pitch at 2-0, watched a perfectly good strike three float in to end the inning (the ump ripped off several Blue Jays on similar calls later, so it wasn’t a one-sided thing, just a decision that the strike zone extended to the edge of the right-handed batter’s box).
Manoah apparently decided if there was no sense trying to keep things exciting any more, retiring 16 in a row before Abreu extended his hitting streak to 11 games by leading off the seventh with a single, after which Sheets ended any drama by hitting into a double play.
TWINS LOST TO TIGERS AGAIN!!!!
Just thought you might like a break of positive news for a moment.
NOW, BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED LOSS
Meanwhile, Johnny Cueto was doing a pretty good job of keeping pace with Manoah, but not good enough. Raimel Tapia led off the third with a double to right, and got to third when Sheets’ throw got by García. (Gavin got the error because the throw bounced. Leury should have handled it easily and deserves the E, but life isn’t always fair.) Tapia then scored on a a double-play ball.
The Jays added another run in the fifth on a Santiago Espinal double, then got all the runs they would need when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled to lead off the sixth and Teoscar Hernández hit the next pitch out to make it 4-0. At that point, the White Sox looked ready to just pack their bags for St. Pete.
Lo and behold, though, another manager left a pitcher in too long. Manoah only threw 83 pitches through seven, but hit the wall in the eighth, giving up singles to Reese McGuire and García and a double to Robert before heading for the showers. Moncada greeted Adam Cimber with an RBI single, and suddenly the Sox were right back in it, at 4-3.
SO WHERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHT VIDEOS FROM THAT INNING, HUH?
Well, the White Sox were too dazed post any, so we shouldn’t, either.
BUT THEY’RE RIGHT BACK IN IT, RIGHT? YOU JUST SAID SO
Well, right back in it for the aforementioned five minutes, anyway.
Reynaldo López came in for the bottom of the eighth and was vintage Reylo — circa 2020: double to Hernandez, walk, double on a 3-2 count to .111 hitter Cavan Biggio, bean Matt Chapman, 5-3, bases loaded. Aaron Bummer took the hill, got two quick outs, including a force at home on a nice play by Leury on a 102 mph screamer with the infield in, but then surrendered a two-run single to Espinal. Yes, it was head-for-the-exits time at 7-3, though Jimmy Lambert earned his frequent flyer miles from his trip from Charlotte by finally getting the last out after another RBI single and a walk.
Just to be fair, Toronto threw their own just-up-from-the-minors guy in the ninth, but the Sox saw no reason to greet him in a hostile manner and went down quietly.
Speaking of quietly, it’s time to stop whining about hitting balls harder than the other guys and not getting rewarded. Of nine balls hit faster than 100 mph, eight were by the Jays and the only exception was a ground out.
The White Sox are now three games worse than .500, in third place in the AAAL Central behind the Twins and Guardians.
It may be a very quiet flight to Tampa for the weekend series.