What a game! The Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 9-6 this afternoon to leave T-Mobile Park with a series win against a red-hot team. This was one of those games that wouldn’t have gone Chicago’s way earlier in the season, but the team came alive to come back and pick a crucial win.
The game started strong for Mariners starter Luis Castillo, who struck out the first seven Sox hitters, tying the American League record. It wasn’t until the bottom of the third inning that the Mariners started the scoring against Michael Kopech. After a leadoff walk to Curt Casali, Julio Rodríguez drove him in with a double.
With Rodríguez on third and Ty France on first after a single, Mitch Haniger poked one out to center field for a sacrifice fly to lead 2-0. Eugenio Suárez, for his 1000th career hit, hit an absolute bomb for a two-run home run to left field to double the lead to 4-0.
With how things were going, it didn’t look like the South Siders would have much offense against Castillo, but Eloy Jiménez quickly cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth inning with a two-run bomb to left of his own, cutting the lead in half.
Kopech was already at a high pitch count going into the bottom of the fourth and allowed two runners to reach base, ending his day. He had a short outing coming off the injured list, going 3 ⅔ innings with four hits, four runs, two walks, and four strikeouts.
Hopefully, with time, he can work back up to more dominant outings. José Ruiz would replace him and get the final out of the inning. Ruiz would stay in to start the bottom of the fifth inning but be replaced by Jake Diekman after a Jesse Winker double. Diekman got the last out of the inning as we rolled into the top of the sixth.
Castillo would stay on the mound to start the inning, and Seby Zavala would reach first due to a fielding error. Elvis Andrus had a beautiful bunt to reach base himself, putting runners on first and second with no outs. José Abreu singled to right to cut the deficit to just one.
Jiménez continued to stay on fire with a double to left field that scored Andrus and tied the game! A Sox comeback? Miggy’s boys don’t quit. Is that a thing? Can we make that a thing?
Sheets helped the South Siders take the lead with a sacrifice fly to score Abreu, and Andrew Vaughn added on with a double to score Jiménez.
So what started as a magical first few innings for Castillo turned into a six-run outing, as he would be replaced after Vaughn’s double. At 6-4 now, it looked like the team had a comfortable lead moving forward.
Diekman started the bottom of the sixth inning with a walk to Sam Haggerty and a one-out single to JP Crawford to put runners on first and second.
Joe Kelly came into the game *holds breath* and immediately walked Rodríguez. A soft grounder from France with the bases loaded would score one, cutting the lead to 6-5, but Kelly was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Aaron Bummer was on in the bottom of the seventh inning, in his first appearance since June. Unfortunately, he was greeted with an immediate game-tying home run from Suarez, his second of the day.
He would also allow a walk to Carlos Santana and a single to Adam Frazier to put runners on first and second with no outs. Luckily, the Bummer we all know and love returned, striking out the next two batters and getting a groundout to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Jiménez started off the top of the eighth inning with a single and was replaced at first by pinch-runner Leury García. García then went on to steal second and advance to third as the throw rolled to center field. Sheets had another terrific at bat, inducing an RBI groundout to score García from third and take a 7-6 lead.
Andrus made another highlight reel play from shortstop in the bottom of the eighth inning with Vince Velasquez on the mound.
Just a beautiful throw all the way from the outfield grass to end the inning.
Andrus has been making contributions ever since joining the team, whether it be as a positive veteran leader in the clubhouse, on defense, or on offense. It’s looking to be a great pickup.
The White Sox went into the top of the ninth inning looking to add some insurance runs, and that’s exactly what they did against Chris Flexen. AJ Pollock and Josh Harrison had back-to-back singles, as Seby Zavala hit a sacrifice bunt that actually scored Pollock due to an overthrow from Flexen trying to field the play.
That would put runners on first and second with an 8-6 lead now, and the Mariners would go on to intentionally walk Yoán Moncada to load the bases for Abreu. Luckily, Abreu delivered on another great at-bat and hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Harrison and extend the lead to 9-6.
This gave Liam Hendriks some comfort as he went in to close out the game, but he didn’t really need it as he struck out the side to end it.
This game felt like what September baseball is all about. Two good teams fighting for a playoff spot went at it, and the South Siders came out on top. As we know, the team has been playing with a different sort of spark recently, and I am fully confident they can continue that into their four-game series starting in Oakland against the Athletics tomorrow. It will be important to pick up three of four at least, but a sweep could also happen.
For now, we will worry about getting to the Bay Area and playing their first game tomorrow, as Dylan Cease will be on the mound against lefty JP Sears. It will be another late one, with an 8:40 pm CT start.
The Minnesota Twins lost their first game of the doubleheader against the New York Yankees as the second game is currently underway. The Cleveland Guardians and Kansas City Royals are also playing, so make sure to keep an eye out for those games to see where the standings will look at the end of the night.
Have a great night, everyone, and get ready for more baseball tomorrow!