After a week where the Sox looked sort of like a mid-baseball team, they reverted back to atrocious tonight. The Kansas City curse continues, despite having a manager who was supposed to help us beat them, as they dropped the first of the four-game set, 12-5. At least the Chicago Blackhawks got the first pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Congrats, Hawks!
The Kansas City Royals absolutely hammered Dylan Cease tonight, as he continued to scuffle through the spring, surrendering seven runs on nine hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. His ERA ballooned to 5.58, and Cease collected his second season loss. One could argue that, at this moment, Cease is no longer the ace of the staff. It’s often tough to follow up on a Cy Young contention season with an equal or better performance, which seems to be the case here for Dylan.
Zack Greinke pitched well enough, yielding only four runs on six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts in 5 2⁄3 innings. The 39-year-old future Hall-of-Famer got a no-decision, but he did pick up the 2,909th strikeout of his career tonight.
Kansas City kicked off the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Salvador Pérez that drove in Bobby Witt Jr. after back-to-back singles by Witt and Vinnie Pasquantino. That Sasquatch that patrols the outfield when Pasquantino gets a hit is creepy, but also kind of cool.
The Good Guys quickly worked to knot the score in the top of the second when Luis Robert Jr. singled, went to second when Gavin Sheets reached on a fielding error by Edward Olivares, and then moved to third on Yasmani Grandal’s fielder’s choice grounder.
Next, the hero of yesterday’s game, Hanser Alberto, drove home Robert with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Sox offense kept firing in the top of the third, when they scored two more off consecutive singles by Tim Anderson and Andrew Benintendi and a two-bagger by Andrew Vaughn that drove in both runners.
Not to be outdone, the Royals knocked around Cease in the bottom of the fourth and came roaring back to tie it up at, 3-3, on a two-run, 431-foot bomb by MJ Melendez.
Then, the Royals took the lead 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth off of doubles by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Pasquantino. Cue the Sasquatch.
Do not fear, though, Sox fans; Gavin Bonds is here. Gavin Sheets blasted his second homer in as many days, tying it up, 4-4, in the top of the sixth.
It looked like it would continue to be a tight, back-and-forth game until what will now be known as the Kansas City Massacre. The Royals sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, putting up an eight-spot and making it 12-4. KC came into this game averaging fewer than four runs per game; everyone likes to play the White Sox, we pad your numbers!
The South Siders managed to scratch across one more run in the top of the eighth after a pitch hit Robert, Grandal walked, and Alberto singled Robert home. It really didn’t matter much, as the game was way out of hand by that point. With the loss, the Sox fall to 12-24 on the season.
Lucas Giolito takes the mound tomorrow in game two of the four-game set. He’ll face off against righty Jordan Lyles.