The White Sox offense did not need much time to get on the board against starter Kyle Hendricks. Andrew Benintendi drew a one-out walk in the top of the first, and Luis Robert Jr. followed with a single that was hit fairly softly. Eloy Jiménez loaded the bases with a grounder to third that was very nicely placed. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario made a nice stop on a ball that could have gone far down the left field line. However, Candelario had no chance of getting anyone out, so the bases were loaded with one out. Then, Yoán Moncada hit a soft grounder to the right side. The Cubs got the out at second, but Moncada beat the throw to first, so the White Sox had a 1-0 lead.
The Cubs did not stay behind for long. Mike Tauchman drew a leadoff walk from starter Touki Toussaint. After a ground out that advanced Tauchman to second, Ian Happ saw a slider that did not break as much as Toussaint would have wanted. Happ took advantage with his 14th home run this season and his second in three games against the White Sox. Happ’s blast gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead, and after one inning, Toussaint had already thrown 28 pitches.
However, the White Sox did not allow that early lead to remain intact, either. Yasmani Grandal led off the top of the second with a single, and he advanced to second on a soft ground out by Oscar Colás. Zach Remillard proceeded to lay a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single, and after he stole second, the White Sox had two in scoring position. Then, Elvis Andrus delivered a single to left that put the South Siders back in front, 3-2.
In the fourth, with the White Sox still leading by a run, Toussaint failed once again to keep the ball in the park. Toussaint hung a breaking ball to Seiya Suzuki, who crushed a no-doubt home run to left to tie the game at three. Toussaint made it through the fourth inning without any further damage. However, after issuing a leadoff walk (his fifth walk of the game) to open the bottom of the fifth, Toussaint’s outing was over.
After six innings, Hendricks was done, and the score was still 3-3. Julian Merryweather took over on the mound for the North Siders, and he retired the first two batters he faced. However, the third batter who faced Merryweather was Robert, who is pretty good at this whole baseball thing. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Merryweather made a mistake, and Robert hit the daylights out of it.
Meanwhile, Tanner Banks and Lane Ramsey, each threw a scoreless inning from the bullpen, so entering the bottom of the seventh, the White Sox had a 4-3 lead. With Aaron Bummer on the mound, the situation got a bit precarious after the speedy Nico Hoerner hit an infield single with one out. Hoerner had already stolen a base earlier in the game for his 30th steal this season. However, Hoerner’s attempt for steal No. 31 was unsuccessful, as Yasmani Grandal made a phenomenal throw, and Remillard’s glove was in the perfect spot to tag Hoerner out.
In the top of the ninth, the White Sox managed to add some insurance against reliever Adbert Alzolay. Still ahead by one, Elvis Andrus sliced a single to get on base with two outs. Andrus proceeded to steal second base, and Andrew Benintendi drove him in with a clutch single to make the score 5-3.
Gregory Santos continued his dominant ways in relief. In addition to getting the last two outs of the eighth, he closed the door in the bottom of the ninth. Santos retired all three batters in the final frame to seal the victory.
The final game of the season series will take place at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM will cover the game, and the first pitch is scheduled to happen at 7:05 p.m. Central.
Who was the White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert Jr: 2-for-5, HR, 19.3% WPA
Aaron Bummer: 1 1⁄3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 17.1% WPA
Gregory Santos: 1 2⁄3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 16.8% WPA
Elvis Andrus: 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 6.0% WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-4, -12.5% WPA
Touki Toussaint: 4 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 4 K, -17.0% WPA
Oscar Colás: 0-for-4, 2 K, -10.2% WPA