On a chilly evening in Chicago, the weather may have helped keep Minnesota off the board in the top of the first. Starter Michael Kopech struck out Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco to open the game, but Carlos Correa gave Kopech’s high slider a drive to deep left. It appeared that the Twins were about to take an early lead, but Andrew Benintendi had other ideas.
Other than that extremely loud out, both pitchers were in total control early on. The only players who reached scoring position in the first five innings were Gavin Sheets, who singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Buxton, who walked and stole second. Both of them were stranded at the keystone.
With one out in the top of the sixth, when Buxton came up to bat, Kopech still had a no-hitter. With nobody on base, Buxton hit a grounder up the middle for a single, and the Twins were finally in the hit column. Control eluded Kopech after that single, as he issued back-to-back, four-pitch walks. Interestingly, despite the eight straight balls Kopech had thrown, the next batter, Trevor Larnach, swung at the first pitch. It was a good pitch to swing at, and he skied a fly ball to center that was plenty deep enough to drive in Buxton. Had his launch angle been a bit lower, that would have been a grand slam, but the sacrifice fly made it a 1-0 ballgame.
Entering the bottom of the seventh, the Twins still only had one hit, but they were clinging onto their 1-0 lead. The White Sox were happy to see Twins starter Joe Ryan leave the game, as Jorge López took over on the mound. Andrew Vaughn, the hero from Sunday’s game, led off with a single. That brought up Eloy Jiménez, who launched a sinker from López over the left field wall.
Eloy Jiménez sent a souvenir to one lucky pup! pic.twitter.com/zfuhEyxaVS— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 3, 2023
That was Eloy’s third home run of the season, and it was a big one, turning the game around and putting the White Sox ahead, 2-1.
After a scoreless seventh inning by Gregory Santos, the eighth inning belonged to Nick Gordon, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter. Alex Colomé took over for the White Sox in the top half, and Gordon launched his first home run of the season to tie the game.
Benintendi nearly answered with a solo home run of his own in the bottom half, and that would have been his first of the year, too. However, the ball ran out of gas in deep center, where Gordon made an outstanding catch.
Keynan Middleton took over to pitch the top of the ninth, and he pitched admirably in a high-leverage situation. He retired all three Twins he faced to preserve the tie heading into the bottom half.
Vaughn led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk on a close 3-2 pitch. Brock Stewart’s fastball appeared to barely miss the outside corner, so it was a good call but an even better take by Vaughn. Billy Hamilton pinch-ran for Vaughn, and he promptly stole second base. A review was required, as the umpire initially called him out, but they eventually got the call right, as the tag was not applied until Hamilton was on second. Jiménez grounded out, but more hustle from Hamilton resulted in the out being a productive one.
Winning run on third, one out. In that situation, Luis Robert Jr. drew an intentional walk to put runners on the corners for Adam Haseley, who played a huge role in Sunday’s win. Haseley had no such luck this time, as he hit a fly ball to shallow center, and even Billy the Runner could not score on it. Yasmani Grandal walked to load the bases for Hanser Alberto, who could not come through, as he flew out to shallow right.
Jimmy Lambert entered the game to pitch the 10th, and he did an incredible job, striking out two and getting a ground out. For the second time in as many innings, the White Sox had a change to send the fans home happy with a walk-off. This time, they did not squander the opportunity. Elvis Andrus laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to advance the Manfred Runner (Alberto, in this case) to third. Although Tim Anderson grounded out without driving in the run, Benintendi did not allow the White Sox to be denied.
Hot diggity dog! Andrew Benintendi walks it off! pic.twitter.com/P4P77yvuLB— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 3, 2023
With that, the fans and the dogs went home happily. In addition to the White Sox finally getting consecutive victories this season, they have won both of their past two games with a walk-off.
The South Siders will try to extend their winning streak to three on Wednesday at 6:10 p.m. Central. Dylan Cease and Louie Varland are the probable starting pitchers. NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM will cover the game. We hope to see you then.