White Sox 10, Mariners 8: Home opener skid snapped

The White Sox won their first home opener since 2014, so of course they didn’t make it easy on themselves. A 6-1 lead turned into an 8-6 deficit until the Mariners made more mistakes to turn into runs.

While Eloy Jiménez made his home debut, Yoan Moncada made the 32,723 in attendance fall in love with him all over again. It was Moncada who gave the Sox their first lead with a first-inning two-run double that Mallex Smith saved from a being a grand slam (he brought back the ball from over the fence, but it fell out of his glove). Moncada also gave the Sox their last lead, winning a seven-pitch, bases-loaded battle against Zac Rosscup with a two-run single to center that put them ahead for good.

Tim Anderson hit a solo shot in the eighth — complete with a bat drop, spin and point toward the dugout — for the Sox’ first double-digit run total of the year, and insurance Alex Colomé didn’t need for the save.

That said, the Sox needed Mariners mistakes more than the Mariners needed the Sox to screw up.

Tim Beckham made the Sox’ three-run first inning possible, as the Seattle shortstop committed an Andy Gonzalez-like three errors in one inning. Leury Garcia reached on a booted ball, and after Anderson singled, Beckham both fumbled a Jose Abreu double-play ball and fired wide to first. Garcia scored on the double-error to tie the game. Yusei Kikuchi loaded the bases with a walk, and Moncada struck for his first two-run hit of the game with the near-slam.

The Sox’ second three-run outburst was all on their own. Adam Engel doubled, then moved to third on a daring two-strike bunt single by Garcia. Garcia stole second, and both runners came home on Anderson’s single through the middle. Abreu first-to-thirded Anderson, who then scored on a double play for a 6-1 lead.

Reynaldo López couldn’t hold it. The lead eroded over the course of the next four innings.

López’s fastball had some of its missing oomph from the first start, but not much of the command. He walked Dee Gordon twice, which is damn near impossible, and the first one came around to score on a groundout in the third to make it a 6-2 game.

López then gave up a leadoff double to Beckham in the fourth, which came around to score on a pair of productive outs. If that wasn’t enough, López then gave up an opposite-field blast to Dan Vogelbach on an outside fastball that was the call after López shook off Welington Castillo’s first two options.

He got through the fifth OK, but the rest of the lead evaporated in the sixth on a leadoff Omar Narvaez single and a Ryon Healy homer. Jace Fry then put the Sox behind with more struggles, issuing a two-out walk to Mallex Smith before giving up a two-run homer to Mitch Haniger.

Fortunately, the Mariners still weren’t done being charitable. Cory Gearrin started his day by throwing his first 11 pitches out of the zone. He walked Garcia and Anderson, then fell behind 2-0 on Abreu before Abreu flailed wildly at a slider out of the zone for no good reason.

Abreu ended up hitting a dribbler to short on 2-2, but Anderson got such a dramatic secondary lead that he beat Beckham’s toss to second, and Abreu beat the throw to first. Instead of a double play, the Sox had the bases loaded and nobody out.

Castillo put the Sox within one by taking a pitch for the team, and after the Mariners called for the lefty Rosscup, Moncada once again refused to be defeated by his righty swing. He shot a single to center that scored a pair and put the Sox back on track to send the fans home happy.

Bullet points:

*Anderson went 3-for-4 with his first homer, first walk, three RBIs and four runs scored in his first game back from the paternity list.

*Jiménez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his South Side debut.

*Moncada has 10 RBIs and a 1.394 OPS over his first six games.

*On the continued frustration beat, Daniel Palka popped up a hanging changeup on the first pitch in the seventh with the bases loaded, and Garcia bumped into Engel on a catch Engel made in right center.

*On the other hand, Yolmer Sanchez made a great throw to third for a rare 4-5 putout that cut down the potential tying run for the second out of the eighth inning.

*Ryan Burr picked up his first win with 1⅓ scoreless innings after Fry’s flop.

Record: 3-3 | Box score | Highlights

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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John SF

I think you have to count both sides of the equation.  

The Mariners defense Gabe is three runs in the first, but also heals back 2 runs in that same inning for a net of only 1.   

You also have to allow that Fry’s big failure started with two good looking strikeouts.   It’s not like he looked terrible out there.  K K (BB?/hit?) homer we’re his three batters, producing an 18 ERA on the inning that looks worse than it is because of sequencing.   

Watching the Mariners bullpen fully implode instead of ours though was nice.  And Anderson + Moncada’s early season success has helped salve the wounds of Lopez / Fry / Jones / Jimenez etc initial stumbles.   

Also, we won our home opener!   
I’m still very dour about the Sox, but this was a fun game for me. 


Maybe the first time in MLB history that one player made three errors before his team recorded an out.

Yolmer's gatorade

I thought Moncada and Anderson are more important this year than Jimenez. Jimenez was probably going to struggle a little with the pressure. Moncada and Anderson needed to show they could take the next step in their development, and so far they are doing that in spades. It’s nice to be excited about White Sox baseball for the first time in a while.


Both Lopez’s final homer and Fry’s homer came immediately after Ricky made a mound visit. Now I’d love to know what he said.

Right Size Wrong Shape

“Let’s see how far they can hit it.”

Patrick Nolan

That game was wonderful. One of the more exciting contests I’ve had the pleasure of attending in recent years.

Moncada has been a damn stud for this team. He’s coming through in huge moments, and what was a .455 career average with the bases loaded coming into today just got a nice boost.


Moncada already has 0.7 fWAR in 6 games, so this is what an equivalent full season 18.9 WAR player looks like over a small sample size. I like it – let’s get more 18-19 WAR players.

lil jimmy

One thing I enjoyed that is not noted. Leury pushing a bunt toward 2nd against the LHP. Perfect execution, and good baseball.

Patrick Nolan

It was a bunt on two strikes. Screw that. Dumb baseball that happened to work out…this time.