The Chicago White Sox took three of their first four games of the season’s second half. After taking two of three from the Houston Astros, the Sox set their sights on their AL Central division rival, the Kansas City Royals.
Chris Sale’s masterful performance on Monday night boosted the White Sox to a 3-1 victory in the series opener against the Royals.
Then, a dreadful, yet common trend took place in Chicago over the next two days.
A four-run sixth inning gave the Royals a four-run lead and would lift them to a 7-1 win over the White Sox on Tuesday night.
In the series finale, both starting pitchers were brilliant in their seven innings of work. White Sox starter Jose Quintana dueled it out with Royals starter James Shields by giving up just one earned run on seven hits, walking two and striking out three on 112 pitches (77 strikes).
Kansas City stole the game and the series on a close play at the plate in the ninth inning. With one out and a runner on second base, Nori Aoki drilled a base-hit to center field that appeared to be shallow enough for White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton to make a play on.
Tuesday, 7/22: Royals – 7, White Sox – 1
In that 7-1 loss on Tuesday night, the Sox went 0-6 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. Scott Carroll was tagged for 11 hits in just five innings of work. Carroll gave up five earned runs, walked two and struck out three on 88 pitches (57 strikes).
The lone White Sox run came from Adam Dunn. In the fourth inning, Dunn drilled his 15th home run of the season and the 455th of his career to tie the game at one.
The White Sox bats were quiet again outside of the early innings. Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn got the bats going early on. Abreu drilled a double and Dunn drove Abreu in during the first inning to tie the game at one.
After the third inning, the Sox offense only mustered two singles off Kansas City pitching.
A positive from the 2-1 loss was the White Sox defense. The defense turned four double plays to bring their season total to 106, which ranks inside the top-five in all of baseball.
The Good Guys move on to a four-game set with another AL Central foe: the Minnesota Twins.
(In fact, seven of their next 10 games are against the Twinkies.)
White Sox Notes:
- Abreu reaches 100 hits:
- Five years ago Wednesday, Mark Buerhle’s perfect game took place.
- No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, Carlos Rodon, made his professional baseball debut on Tuesday night in AZL. Rodon touched 96 MPH in his first in-game action since May 16th.
- Dayan Viciedo was scratched from the White Sox lineup on Wednesday due to hamstring tightness in his left leg. Viciedo isn’t expected to miss extended time.