The Good Guys started out strong! In the first inning, Yoán Moncada singled, and Luis Robert — on a 0-2 count — worked a very solid at-bat for a walk. José Abreu followed suit, with a walk of his own. On the fourth pitch in his at-bat, Andrew Vaughn squeezed a ground ball into the very small space between the third baseman and shortstop for a clutch, bases-loaded, two-RBI single.
Typically, the Sox come out flat the very next game after an offensive burst in the previous game, so this start was a relief.
Unfortunately, they lost some major punch, as Luis Robert bowed out early in this one.
Luis Robert left the game with lightheadedness. He is day-to-day.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 16, 2022
Michael Kopech has been struggling in the first inning this year, and tonight was not any different. He allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the first. Alex Kirilloff, who had a series against us in Chicago, lasered a double to right field, which drove in two runners to tie the game, 2-2.
On the bright side for Kopech, after struggling with his slider command, he threw three changeups (his 10th, 11th, and 12th of the year) for two foul balls and one put in play for a pop out. Additionally, after his fastball velocity was down three mph in his last outing, it was right back on track at an average of 95.6 mph this evening!
While Kopech was dueling in a tied game, Tim Anderson found the power for his first time since late May. TA7 hit a wallscraper for a tie-breaking home run (101.0 mph, .700 xBA) in the fourth inning to make it 3-2, Sox.
More than his offense, Tim made sure to show off his hopes on defense. Bringing basketball to baseball, TA7 used all of his vertical to snag the liner for an out!
Tim-Tim the point guard showing out tonight. pic.twitter.com/m9aW9CVuFn— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 16, 2022
Remember Luis Robert exiting this game? Adam Engel replaced him, and in the seventh inning, with two on and one out, Engel did a Pantera imitation, launching a home run to left-center field to pad the Sox’s score, at 6-2!
Joe Kelly took over for Kopech in the sixth and notched two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning. To follow in the seventh, Reynaldo López tossed a 1-2-3 inning of his own.
Kendall Graveman allowed a few baserunners, but Anderson initiated a double play to end the eighth.
And in the last ups, Anderson sent a ball (102 mph, .740 xBA) to the deepest part of the park, just missing his second home run of the game.
Liam Hendriks ended the game with a clean ninth inning, and got the job done. At worst, the Sox will tie the series against the Minnesota this weekend.
Back at .500 at 45-45, the Good Guys are just three games back from the AL Central lead.
The newly-.500 White Sox will look to take the series against the Twins starting at 1:10 p.m. CT tomorrow afternoon. Lance Lynn (1-2, 6.97 ERA, 3.92 xERA) looks to get back into his 2021 form, and Dylan Bundy (5-4, 4.68 ERA, 3.92 xERA) plans to go past six innings for only the second time all year.
Victory sunglasses, how we need to keep seeing more of you!