clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Jake Burger is downright giddy circling the bases for his first of two homers on the night.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Filed under:

White Sox 8, Dodgers 4: In n’ Out at Dodger Stadium

Burger blasts way to comeback victory in L.A.

The Chicago White Sox (30-39) brought their Six Flags act with them to Los Angeles for Wednesday’s late-night tilt with the Dodgers (38-30), finally coming out on the winning end of a roller coaster ride that saw them take a lead, lose a lead, and take it back again from a time that, while not at their peak, is undoubtedly more talented than they are. With Minnesota’s win and Cleveland’s loss, they remain 5 1⁄2 back of first place and two games behind the Guardians for second.

The Sox lineup did an unusually good job of working deep into counts against Clayton Kershaw its first time through the lineup, getting him to nearly 80 pitches through four innings and drawing the first blood when Jake Burger turned around a 92 mph rising fastball and mashed it 393 feet to center field to give them a 1-0 lead.

An inning later, Luis Robert Jr. followed it up with his 16th blast of the season, a no-doubter deep into the left-field bullpen.

Yasmani Grandal seemed to be seeing Kershaw particularly well from the right side of the plate, first singling in the second inning after Burger’s bomb, then turning and burning a hanging slider into the gap for a 107 mph double. He made it to third base after Kershaw walked Elvis Andrus and then threw a wild pitch, but was prevented from scoring by an absurd play from the future Hall-of-Famer.

Gregory Santos took over on the mound for the White Sox in the wake of an injury with two runners on and two outs in the fifth inning, entering with a 1-2 count and striking out J.D. Martinez to end the threat. Unfortunately, Santos proceeded to have a nightmare sixth frame, allowing three straight singles to start the inning and then allowing a run to score when he failed to back up home after the third, as the throw from right field got through Grandal at home plate.

As you can see, Santos was relieved by Aaron Bummer, whose streak of five straight scoreless outings was decidedly snapped by a four-pitch walk and a weak ground ball that scored a run on yet another defensive miscue by the Sox middle infield. Pedro Grifol reportedly attempted to challenge the play at second, but was subsequently ejected after being informed that too much time had passed. Chalk up a W for Charlie Montoyo’s record, I suppose.

Joe Kelly put out the fire, but the damage had been done. As has been the case for much of the year, the Sox offense was unable to contribute anything to that point outside of the power provided by Burger and Robert. Kershaw wound up navigating through six innings with only those two runs on his line, and Yency Almonte — 6.33 ERA entering the night, and once traded by the Sox to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Tommy Kahnle — worked a scoreless seventh, making for an all-too-familiar feeling of resignation.

But after Reynaldo López held the Dodgers in place, Dave Roberts made the mistake of trying to get two innings out of Almonte, and two batters later, the game was tied.

Alex Vesia came on in relief and immediately prodded the Sox offense in the unfortunate way of plunking Andrew Benintendi in nearly the same place where he broke his wrist last year. Benintendi proceeded to advance on a wild pitch, and after Grandal struck out, Clint Frazier gave the Sox the lead back with his second hit of the night:

Another run got tacked on in the top of the ninth, when an Andrew Vaughn walk to lead off the inning came around to score when it was followed by hits from Robert and Eloy Jiménez, the latter’s 25th run driven in. Then, Benintendi finally gave Chicago some breathing room by slapping a single down the left-field line to score the pair.

Kendall Graveman took the ninth inning, faring considerably better than Sunday’s meltdown against Miami, walking a hitter but immediately erasing it with a game-ending double play. Exhale.

Being that the White Sox remain on the West Coast after the Dodgers series for a three-game set with Seattle, tomorrow’s rubber match will be yet another 9:10 pm CT start, rather than a traditional getaway day game. This time, the broadcast will be back in the familiar environs of NBC Sports Chicago. The Sox are turning to Dylan Cease to find his 2022 form and take the series against rookie Michael Grove, who’s been lit up for 23 earned runs in his first 25 big league innings. See you there!

Visiting Dugout

Visiting Dugout Episode 37 — Boston Red Sox


Into the valley of death ...

Today in White Sox History

Today in White Sox History: September 22