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So as to not bury the lede; yes, Matt Davidson had himself another night against the Royals. Meanwhile, though, before the start…
Going into this game, I wondered what might be in store for Reynaldo Lopez. While Lopez entered the game with a sparkling 1.50 ERA, other metrics hinted at regression. xFIP? 5.00. *Regular* FIP? 4.22. BABIP was an unsustainable .175, while his BB/9 was at 5.63; I thought there might be a reckoning on the horizon. Lopez continued to walk the tightrope, though: he pitched 6 1/3, walking none, and giving up 2 earned runs, albeit with 10 hits. An error extended his pitch count, though, as you’ll see below.
Almost from the start, it looked as though the Royals had figured Lopez out. After a Whit Merrifield groundout, Mike Moustakas hit a home run to opposite field, making it 1-0 in favor of the Royals. That seemed to shake Lopez a bit, as he gave up back-to-back singles to Salvador Perez and Lucas Duda, bringing Jorge Soler to the plate. Lopez looked to be out of the inning as he induced a popup in foul territory along the first baseline, but Abreu dropped it. Given new life, Soler doubled home Perez to make it 2-0. Lopez was able to get out of the inning though, getting Jon Jay to fly out to left, and a Cheslor Cuthbert popup in foul territory that gave Jose Abreu a chance to redeem himself.
The Sox’ half of the second saw some nice hitting against Danny Duffy. With Trayce Thompson at first after a fielder’s choice, Leury Garcia tripled to the gap in right field, making it 2-1. Adam Engel followed Garcia’s triple up with a nice squeeze bunt up the first line to tie the game at 2. Tim Anderson popped up to end the inning.
The fourth saw the Sox strike for more runs against Duffy. Matt Davidson went yard for his sixth (!) home run against the Royals this season. Trayce Thompson sandwiched a single to center between a deep flyout by Yoan Moncada and a Leury Garcia flyout. Adam Engel was next, though, and tripled to make it 4-2 in favor of the White Sox. While the Sox wouldn’t do anything more this inning, the bottom of the order spots (5-9) had thus far driven in and scored all of the runs.
Things were relatively quiet until the bottom of the seventh. Duffy and Lopez had navigated the fifth and the sixth without much noise, but a single by Whit Merrifield to lead off the seventh changed that. That single prompted a visit by Joe McEwing and it looked like the night was finished for Lopez. Reynaldo must have talked his way into staying, though, as he was left in to face Moustakas again. Ol’ Mike repaid this kindness by singling through the right side of the infield. A flyout by Perez advanced Merrifield to third, and that was it for Lopez. His line: 6 1/3, 10 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2K.
Aaron Bummer replaced Lopez, who threw a wild pitch to score Merrifield, making it 4-3. A Lukas Duda groundout advanced Moustakas to third, prompting McEwing to go to the bullpen once again, calling on Nate Jones to finish the inning. Unfortunately, errors continued to plague the Sox, as Anderson made an errant throw on a Jorge Soler grounder which allowed Moustakas to score, tying the game 4-4. Jones got Jon Jay to ground out to first, though, ending the inning.
The score would stay 4-4 until the 11th inning when there were more Davidson heroics. Jose Abreu started things off with a single to right field. While Welington Castillo would erase that with a fielder’s choice the very next at bat, it wouldn’t matter, for Matt Davidson continued to torment Royal pitching. A 3-2 pitch blasted out to right center made it 6-4, and giving Davidson his 7th home run against the Royals (which, by the way, is one short of the number of home runs the Royals have at Kauffman all season). Moncada followed up with a double, thanks in large part to some aggressive baserunning that turned a single into a double. After Trayce Thompson struck out swinging, Leury Garcia singled Moncada home to make it 7-4, before getting tagged out at second base to end the inning.
The 7-4 lead proved to be too much to overcome for the Royals, as Soria came on to get the save. Outside of a Whit Merrifield double with two outs, the Royals didn’t threaten in the bottom of the 11th.
- There was a weird little interchange in the bottom of the sixth between Lopez and Gordon. Lopez hit Gordon accidentally, which led to some facial posturing on Gordon’s part. According to the broadcast, umpire Jerry Layne reprimanded Gordon between innings.
- Yolmer had a nice defensive play in the fifth, diving to his right and gunning to first for the out.
Record: 7-16| Box Score