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Diamondbacks rattle Sox in 7-2 loss

Arizona can do what Chicago can’t: extra-base hits, walks, and superb defense

Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago White Sox
Chin up, Cowboy: Johnny Cueto ends his streak of 10-straight quality starts.
Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

The Arizona Diamondbacks wasted absolutely no time on offense and controlled the whole game from the jump, en route to Friday’s 7-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Johnny Cueto notched a seamless 1-2-3 inning off of 12 pitches in the first inning, and it appeared that everything was on track for a long outing that would lead to a victorious night.

Well, the D-Backs immediately went to work in the second inning and forced White Sox fans to diminish any hope we still might have for the 2022 season. Christian Walker and Daulton Varsho hit back-to-back singles, and Jordan Luplow loaded the bases with a walk. Alex Thomas, son of former White Sox strength and conditioning coach Allen Thomas, recorded a sacrifice fly to left field that Eloy Jiménez tracked down very well in order to prevent the ball from dropping for extra bases and several RBIs.

Though in the grand scheme of things it did not end up being the big play it normally would be, Geraldo Perdomo walked to re-load the bases with two outs, and Josh Rojas took a ball to left field for a bases-clearing double that rattled around the left-field corner. Very, very quickly, the Good Guys were down 4-0, and Johnny Cueto was struggling mightily with his control.

With Rojas at second, Emmanuel Rivera hit his 11th home run of the season for a 6-0 score. Thanks, AZ. You saved White Sox fans from a stressful game quite early.

In must-win territory as the credits start to roll on an incredibly disappointing 2022 season, it still remains a frustration with how poorly-run, managed, and performing this Sox team is during this contending window.

Putting Frank Menechino to shame once more, Daulton Varsho recorded a solo shot in the third inning for a 7-0 lead. That is one sacrifice fly, two walks, two singles, and three extra-base hits leading to those seven runs, taking just seven outs. The Sox through three innings had two walks and a double.

However, the South Siders did see one run cross the plate in the fourth inning. Jiménez walked, and AJ Pollock doubled to put ducks on the pond with one out. Elvis Andrus, on his special night in more ways than one, recorded an RBI ground out for a 7-1 ballgame.

Unfortunately for the Sox, the Diamondbacks can CATCH and stole quite a few run-scoring opportunities.

Thomas robbed Adam Engel AND José Abreu of extra bases.

Cueto was able to settle down somewhat and pitch a full five innings, so he was still able to spare the bullpen a few extra innings. Tanner Banks came into the game in relief in the sixth and stayed through the eighth. Banks was working, scattering one hit through three scoreless innings while striking out three batters. José Ruiz recorded a 1-2-3, scoreless ninth inning.

As for the Sox offense the rest of the game? Rookie lefty Tommy Henry took care of business with some stellar defense behind him. Through five innings of work, he allowed only one run off of four hits and three walks. The Sox had scoring opportunities this evening, but good defense kept Henry out of severe trouble.

It took until the ninth inning for the Sox to double their run total for the evening. With one out, AJ Pollock took a ball off of Tyler Holton to dead-center field for a home run that was out of Thomas’ reach.

The lifeless White Sox are back at .500, with a 63-63 record. Stuck in mediocrity.

Davis Martin (2-3, 4.25 ERA), filling in for the injured Michael Kopech, will share a mound with Merrill Kelly (10-5, 2.87 ERA) for tomorrow’s 6:10 p.m. CT start on NBC Sports Chicago.