If the White Sox lost, I would have told you about how the top of the ninth was the culprit of today’s downfall. Thanks to Elvis Andrus, instead of telling you how this silly team blew another lead late, I get to tell you a happy story.
Lance Lynn’s mission today was not to duplicate his Sunday start in Seattle, but rather build off of it. One out away from a quality start was the answer, and thus this afternoon should be considered a success for him. Lynn went 5 2⁄3 innings, striking out seven and walking just one. While the three runs he allowed today only lowered his ERA to 6.40, this is the exact type of consistency that is needed from the veteran.
The first run allowed by the righthander was scored in the top of the second by Rafael Devers on a Christian Arroyo sacrifice fly. Yasmani Grandal did not let his battery mate sweat for long, and answered in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run.
In the bottom of the fifth, Jake Burger answered with his own solo home run to give the South Siders their first lead. It was Boston’s turn to answer in the top of the sixth. Triston Casas hit a two-out, two-run home run off Lynn to put the Red Sox back in front, 3-2.
Lynn’s day would end one batter, later after giving up a double to Arroyo. Luis Robert Jr. and Andrew Vaughn must have promised Lance he would not be tacked with today’s loss, because in the bottom of the sixth they each hit solo shots to put the White Sox back on top, 4-3.
A one-run lead is always precarious, but for a team that has struggled to keep a lead all season, it felt extra precarious. This was proven correct when Kendall Graveman blew the save in the top of the ninth. A bad-bounce hit, stolen base and a wild pitch allowed Jarren Duran to score on a Justin Turner two-out single to make it 4-4.
It was looking like we were heading into another brutal, extra-inning loss when Gavin Sheets came in to pinch-hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Sheets hit a ball through the first baseman for a single; Zach Remillard was subbed in to pinch-run and wasted no time stealing second.
Enter Andrus. A two-out single to short-center scored Remillard from second to end the game. Andrus had the only RBI this afternoon that did not leave the building, but I suppose not every Elvis has to leave the building to send fans home happy.
The White Sox lead the league in walk-offs, with seven already this season. Winning a baseball game should feel easier when your team hits four home runs, but this is the White Sox, and I will take a win. Maybe the rubber match tomorrow will provide home runs with runners on base.