Royals 5, White Sox 2: Skoglund stops Sox

At least the first inning was interesting.

Just like Yoan Moncada did earlier this week, twice, Tim Anderson batting leadoff for the White Sox started the game with a bang. Anderson hit his fourth home run of the season to give the Sox an early 1-0 lead. As Anderson crossed home plate, Royals catcher Salvador Perez had some words for him. It appeared that Anderson didn’t think much of what Perez had to say patting him on the chest protector and then celebrating with his teammates in the dugout.

Clearly, Perez had more to say.

In the bottom half of the opening frame, Perez hit a liner directly at left fielder Leury Garcia, but because of the lights Garcia couldn’t see the ball and dropped an out. That error put runners on first and second against Sox starter Dylan Covey who was just called up from Charlotte. Jorge Soler would fly out to Adam Engel in center for the second out, but Covey got himself into sticky situation walking Lucas Duda to load the bases.

Don Cooper came out to speak with Covey, and that is when drama entered the game. Perez was still voicing his displeasure to Anderson while at second base, and the shortstop approached Perez at second. Quickly, fill-in manager Joe McEwing raced to second base to separate Anderson and Perez which lead to both benches clearing. This sort of activity on the field is nothing new for the White Sox and Royals if you remember the Captains of Attitude taking on every Royal player back in 2015. No punches were thrown, and after all of the hoopla, Anderson and Perez shook hands.

The very next batter was Abraham Almonte who hit a sharp grounder that Perez was able to shield the ball away from Anderson. Trying to back glove it at the last minute not having a clean view, Anderson couldn’t handle the grounder, and it allowed all runners to reach safely, and the game was tied 1-1. A very “What if?” moment in that if Anderson fields that grounder cleanly and the White Sox escape the jam, would this game had ended differently? Instead, Alex Gordon’s single drove in two more runs, and the Royals were up 3-1 after the first inning.

It may not have mattered because the White Sox could not generate any offense against Eric Skoglund. The southpaw was outstanding keeping Sox hitters off balance with his curveball and catching them off guard with his fastball. After Anderson’s home run, the White Sox only managed one more hit and drew one walk in the next six innings against Skoglund. His final line was seven innings pitched, two hits allowed, one earned run, one walk, and striking out nine.

Meanwhile, Covey regained some composure after the opening frame. After throwing 34 pitches in the first inning, Covey was able to grind out six innings only allowing one earned run with three walks and three strikeouts. Just the defensive misplays by Garcia and Anderson allowed the Royals to score four times against Covey.

Juan Minaya came in for relief, and McEwing stuck with him for two innings even though his control was lacking. In 49 pitches, Minaya made it through two innings only allowing one hit, but walking four batters and striking out four. The combination, along with earlier today Carson Fulmer and Chris Beck, allowed McEwing to save the White Sox bullpen as only four pitchers in total covered 18 innings. That is tonight’s silver lining.

As Skoglund exited the game, there was an opportunity for the Sox to come back.  Garcia started it off with a high chopper that shortstop Alcides Escobar had no play resulting in an infield single. With Trayce Thompson batting, Garcia swiped second base for his fifth stolen base in 2018. After Thompson struck out, Omar Narvaez hit a single to left field putting runners on the corners with one out.

McEwing had Nicky Delmonico pinch hit for Adam Engel which resulted in being the right call. Delmonico singled to right field scoring Garcia and putting the tying run on first base with Tim Anderson batting. Instead of making more magic happen, Anderson grounded into the 6-4-3 double play ending the threat and the White Sox last best chance to win. In the bottom half, Gordon drove in his third RBI of the night with a double to make it 5-2 Kansas City. Closer Kelvin Herrera allowed a double to Jose Abreu but was able to strikeout Yoan Moncada ending the game and picking up his fifth save of the season.

Record: 8-17 | Box Score

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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