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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox

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Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3: Woes against Toronto continue

Luis Robert Jr. hit a mammoth home run, but that was the only time the South Siders scored

Crushed: Luis Robert Jr. launched a 450-foot home run during the loss.
| Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox (37-50) failed get off to a strong start to the home stand, falling to the Blue Jays (46-40) in a close game. Toronto now leads the season series, 4-0.

Both pitchers were in control early on. Through three innings, Lucas Giolito had only allowed one hit (a single), and he had only thrown 40 pitches. Chris Bassitt was going toe-to-toe with Giolito, only allowing one hit (a single) and needing only 43 pitches to get through three.

The first major scoring opportunity was in the top of the fourth, when Brandon Belt drew a one-out walk. Giolito threw a well-located slider to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but sometimes the batter just wins. Guerrero hit a soft ground ball that got through, just to the right of second base. Belt advanced to third, and the Blue Jays had runners on the corners with one out. That brought up Matt Chapman, who worked a tough plate appearance before drawing a walk on the eighth pitch.

With the bases loaded and one out, Daulton Varsho was next, and after getting ahead in the count (2-0), Giolito threw two borderline pitches that were both called strikes. Giolito followed through with a terrific fastball to strike Varsho out, and it appeared that the White Sox might get out of the jam. However, White Sox killer Whit Merrifield sliced a double down the left-field line to drive in a pair. Alejandro Kirk nearly doubled Toronto’s lead with a soft liner up the middle, but Zach Remillard made a nice catch to take a hit and two RBIs away from Kirk.

After being retired rather quickly in the fourth and fifth, the White Sox offense finally showed signs of life in the sixth. Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson hit back-to-back singles with one out. That set the table for All-Star Luis Robert Jr., who took full advantage of a mistake from Bassitt.

Robert clobbered a hanging sweeper to left-center, and there was no doubt about whether or not it would get over the fence. In the blink of an eye, the White Sox had taken a 3-2 lead after Robert’s 450-footer. That was Robert’s 25th home run this season, as he continues to build on his excellent numbers.

Reynaldo López replaced Giolito on the mound to begin the seventh, and Merrifield greeted him with a sharp single. Kirk was next, and he skied a deep fly ball to right that brought Colás back to the warning track, nearly touching the wall. At last, the ball fell into his glove, and the lead was safe. However, during Kevin Kiermaier’s plate appearance, López lost track of Merrifield, who took advantage and stole second easily. On top of that, a wild pitch allowed Merrifield to advance to third with one out. Kiermaier drew a walk, and George Springer worked a tough at-bat after that. At last, on a 3-2 pitch, López jammed Springer with a 98 mph fastball and forced an easy pop out to Anderson. Bo Bichette stepped up to the plate in a high-leverage situation, which became even higher-leverage when Kiermaier stole second. Bichette eventually grounded out to first on another well-executed fastball by López to end the threat.

Still clinging to a 3-2 lead, Joe Kelly entered the game to open the eighth, and he issued a leadoff walk to Brandon Belt. That set the stage for Guerrero, who got great extension as he launched hanging slider to the opposite field. The deep fly ball cleared the right field fence to put Toronto back on top, 4-3.

In the bottom half, with one out, Anderson hit a line drive down the right field line. It was unclear at first whether or not the ball would stay fair, but either way, Springer appeared to have a play on the ball, though it would have been a tough one. Springer got a glove on it, but he failed to hold on. Anderson raced all the way to third and was credited with a well-earned triple, his first since Aug. 17, 2021. The White Sox had a great opportunity to tie the game, especially with Robert and Jiménez up next. However, Robert did not have any magic left, as he popped out, and Jiménez flew out to retire the side.

Reliever Jordan Romano did a terrific job in the bottom of the ninth, and the White Sox went down quietly, striking out Andrew Vaughn, Colás, and Jake Burger.

The White Sox will be back in action against the Blue Jays again tomorrow. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Central. José Berríos (3.74 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 1.4 fWAR in 101 innings) and Lance Lynn (6.47 ERA, 5.11 FIP, 0.6 fWAR in 96 innings) are the probable starting pitchers. Once again, NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM will cover the game.

Poll

Who was the White Sox MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Tim Anderson: 2-for-4, 3B, +.225 WPA
    (4 votes)
  • 65%
    Luis Robert Jr: 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, +.203 WPA
    (44 votes)
  • 26%
    Lucas Giolito: 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, +.030 WPA
    (18 votes)
  • 1%
    Reynaldo López: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 K, +.095 WPA
    (1 vote)
67 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Joe Kelly: 1 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K, -.451 WPA
    (53 votes)
  • 18%
    Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.179 WPA
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    Zach Remillard: 0-for-3, -.127 WPA
    (0 votes)
65 votes total Vote Now

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