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MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Chicago White Sox

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White Sox 8, Guardians 3: Unexpected power surge

Sheets, Burger, Robert Jr. all homer as the South Side offense breaks through

Gavin Sheets got the offense started with a three-run homer, and enjoyed a cool, cool ice bath postgame.
| Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

What started as a pitching duel between Lance Lynn of the White Sox and Shane Beiber of the Guardians quickly turned into an offensive display, as the South Siders punched hard and often, going up 6-0 before settling for a 8-3 beat down.

First, give massive credit to Lynn, who went seven innings with seven strikeouts — and only one earned run. He minimized his mistakes, and thankfully, the woeful hitting of the Guardians prevented him from being punished for the few pitches he left up and over the plate.

Meanwhile, the White Sox scattered singles throughout the game but couldn’t convert until the fifth inning, when a bizarrely obvious catcher’s interference call against Luis Robert Jr. fueled offensive fireworks.

First, Yoán Moncada drove Robert home on a perfectly-executed hit-and-run. Then, after a Vaughn single, Gavin Sheets brought out the big stick.

But the Sox weren’t done, as Jake Burger added an exclamation point in the form of a two-run homer later that same inning.

That was enough to knock Bieber out of the game with a 6-0 deficit and transform the game into far more of a laffer than most expected.

Lynn continued to pitch effectively before running out of steam in the seventh inning and turning it over to Keynan Middleton — who was OK, but not as dominant as he’s shown — and Joe Kelly to end the game.

The Sox didn’t have to do any more on offense, but added a late Robert home run for good measure. That made it his fourth straight game with a home run, and he leads the American League with 12 for the year.

The AL Central rivals are back in action tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. Central, with Peyton Battenfield (0-4, 4.45 ERA) facing the White Sox fourth starter (2-3, 4.79 ERA).

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