White Sox starter Touki Toussaint had a night that he would like to forget as soon as possible. With a runner on first and one out in the top of the first, control eluded Toussaint, who hit Salvador Pérez and Michael Massey with pitches to load the bases. From there, Edward Olivares drew a walk to force in a run, and Matt Duffy hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Up to the plate stepped Logan Porter, who lined a single into center to drive in a pair for his first MLB hit in his first MLB plate appearance. Congratulations to Porter on his accomplishment.
The Royals built on that sizable lead in the second. Maikel García led off with a single, and Bobby Witt Jr. walked. Pérez drove in García with a single, and Massey added a big exclamation point with a three-run homer. Just like that, with no outs in the top of the second, the score was 8-0, and Toussaint was out of the game. It appeared as though the remainder of the game would be nothing besides garbage time. An RBI single in the third by Pérez against reliever Luis Patiño seemed to solidify that.
Would you like to know something else that also seemed to indicate that the game was already over? Royals starter Jordan Lyles, who entered this game with a 6.24 ERA, had a perfect game through four innings. Yep, it appeared to be just another horrendous game by the White Sox on offense as well. However, Eloy Jiménez, who led off the bottom of the fifth, took Lyles deep for his 16th home run this season. That made the score 9-1, and the White Sox saw a small amount of silver lining.
Then, in the sixth, the White Sox put together one of the most improbable innings across baseball this season. Lenyn Sosa singled, Zach Remillard doubled, Yoán Moncada singled, Andrew Vaughn doubled, Luis Robert Jr. singled, and Jiménez added a single. The South Siders had put together six consecutive hits against Lyles, who had retired the first 12 batters he faced. After the single by Jiménez, Lyles was out of the game, the score was 9-5, the White Sox had runners on first and second with no outs — and they were not done.
Carlos Pérez drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch to load the bases against reliever Taylor Clarke. A White Sox batter finally was finally retired when Trayce Thompson struck out, but Gavin Sheets cleared the bases with a double, and he advanced to third on an error. Sosa, who led off the inning, drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. Incredibly, thanks to this eight-run inning, the White Sox had tied the game after they had trailed by nine just an inning-and-a-half earlier.
However, the positive vibes did not remain for long. White Sox reliever Deivi García hit Porter to open the seventh, and after Kyle Isbel flew out, Dairon Blanco walked to put Porter in scoring position. Maikel García proceeded to put Kansas City back on top with an RBI single.
In the ninth, with Michael Kopech on the mound, Blanco singled before stealing second and third. Blanco proceeded to score on a sacrifice fly by Witt. That turned out to be a crucial insurance run. In the bottom half, Andrew Benintendi walked and advanced to third on a one-out single by Vaughn. Robert grounded into a force out that could have been a double play if Royals first baseman Nick Pratto had made a nice play on a low throw. That grounder allowed Benintendi to score, but Jiménez grounded into a force out to end the game.
The final game of this series is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. Central on Wednesday. As usual, NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM will cover the game. The probable starting pitcher for the South Siders is [redacted] (3.64 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 2.0 fWAR).
Six Pack of Stats
The force out that Luis Robert Jr. grounded into in the ninth had a 4.77 LI.
Carlos Hernández, who picked up the save for the Royals, had a 3.22 pLI.
The bases-clearing double in the sixth by Gavin Sheets boosted the White Sox’s win probability by 28.1% (19.7% to 47.8%).
Gavin Sheets, who drove in three with a double, led the way with a 27.7% WPA.
The line out by Eloy Jiménez in the second inning left the bat at 112.2 mph.
A pop out by Andrew Vaughn in the seventh inning was lofted at 44.4 mph.
The single by Elvis Andrus in the eighth inning registered a .090 xBA.
That line out by Eloy Jiménez in the second registered a .780 xBA.
Fighting Illini legend Michael Massey’s home run (411 feet) edged out the home run by Jiménez (397) for the award.
Magic Number: 6
This was the 89th loss of the season for the South Siders. Since 2013, this is the sixth season they have lost at least that many games. They reached that total in 2014 and 2019, and surpassed that mark in 2013, 2017, and 2018.
CSW called strikes plus whiffs
Hard-hit is any ball off the bat at 95 mph or more
LI measures pressure per play
pLI measures total pressure faced in-game
Whiff a swing-and-miss
WPA win probability added measures contributions to the win
xBA expected batting average
Who was the White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Gavin Sheets: 1-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 27.7% WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-5, RBI, 5.1% WPA
Aaron Bummer: 1 1⁄3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 6.9% WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 2-for-5, HR, -9.2% WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Touki Toussaint: 1 IP, 8 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 K, -43.3% WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-2, -0.7% WPA
Luis Robert Jr: 1-for-5, 2 RBI, -14.3% WPA
Michael Kopech: 2⁄3 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 K, -8.8% WPA