The South Siders wasted no time getting started on offense. Elvis Andrus continued his hot streak with a leadoff double to open the bottom of the first. The inning hit a bit of a speed bump with an ill-advised first inning sacrifice bunt by Yoán Moncada, but the sacrifice did advance Andrus to third. José Abreu followed by drawing a six-pitch walk to set the stage for Eloy Jiménez. Rockies starter Chad Kuhl missed low with a sinker to open the at-bat, and with the count 1-0, he hung a slider.
Jiménez did this:
Eloy’s 13th home run of the season gave the White Sox an early 3-0 lead. This was only his 67th game this season, but Jiménez is a serious contender for the team lead in home runs. Andrew Vaughn and Abreu (more on him later) lead the way with 15, and Jiménez is alone in third place.
White Sox starter Michael Kopech got off to a strong, retiring the first seven Rockies he faced. With one out in the third, however, Elías Díaz cancelled the postgame show by hitting a single for Colorado’s first hit. Next up was Alan Trejo, who put the Rockies on the board with a two-run homer. Trejo’s home run only traveled 364 feet, and it barely got into the White Sox bullpen, but regardless, it drove in two runs to make it 3-2.
Though the teams combined for five runs in the first 2 1⁄2 innings, Kopech and Kuhl settled down and finished with solid performances. After Trejo’s home run, Kopech only allowed one opponent to reach base, and that was a harmless single by Yonathan Daza. Jimmy Lambert replaced Kopech to begin the sixth, and Kopech left with the following line: five innings, two runs (both earned), three hits, zero walks, and three strikeouts in 80 pitches.
Meanwhile, scoring opportunities were hard to come by for the White Sox, who struggled against Kuhl after Jiménez’s homer. Kuhl was removed after allowing two singles in the seventh (the White Sox failed to cash in against reliever Justin Lawrence), with a final line of 6 1⁄3 innings, three runs (all earned), six hits, two walks, and five strikeouts in 83 pitches.
Lambert, Reynaldo López, and Kendall Graveman all did their jobs admirably, delivering a scoreless inning apiece and providing a sturdy bridge to Liam Hendriks.
In the bottom of the eighth, the White Sox added an insurance run when Lawrence hung a slider to Abreu, and Abreu hit it out to left-center. That was Abreu’s first home run since August 3, but despite that long homerless streak, it has been another great season (.312/.386/.457, 143 wRC+) for him.
Hendriks set down the Rockies in order in the ninth to seal the deal for his 33rd save of the season. On a negative note, the Guardians (75-65) defeated the Angels (61-81) again, so Cleveland’s division lead remains at three, with another day wiped off of the calendar.
The White Sox will face the Rockies against tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. Central, which is a change from the scheduled night game due to Thursday’s off day-turned-makeup game at Cleveland. Dylan Cease and Kyle Freeland are the probable starting pitchers for tomorrow, and once again, NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM will have coverage.
Can the White Sox get back to five games over .500? We will find out soon.