Hey, you ever seen one of those Siberian face-slapping competitions? It’s what it sounds like — large men standing across from each other in an armory-looking building and hauling off on each other until one crumples.
Anyway, after giving up 10 runs on two homers in an Opening Day loss to the Twins on Friday, the White Sox scored 10 runs on five homers this afternoon even the record. This might be the way this series goes all season.
And guess who hit two of those homers: Leury García! After two first-inning miscues put the Sox in a hole on Friday, García helped blast the Sox to victory with a pair of homers, one from each side of the plate.
It didn’t seem like the game was going to get that loud based on how it started. Dallas Keuchel and Randy Dobnak took advantage of a generous strike zone to keep the game scoreless through two, and a 1-0 score through four.
But Dobnak only lasted four innings and 73 pitches in his debut, and when Zack Littell entered the game, he encountered big trouble. García greeted him with a solo shot to right field in the fifth to make it a 2-0 game. He righted himself by getting the next two hitters, but José Abreu kept the inning alive by shoving a single to right, and Edwin Encarnación went long gone to left for his first Sox homer and a 4-0 lead.
Eloy Jiménez made it back-to-back, doinking a homer off the top of the right-field wall.
The Twins did have one answer in them, as Nelson Cruz turned on an inner-half Steve Cishek fastball and hit a screamer out to left for a three-run shot in the sixth. Maintaining the theme of an inverse performance, the White Sox bullpen then tightened up, and the White Sox offense provided all the subsequent runs.
James McCann provided a quick answer to the Twins’ three-spot in the top of the sixth, responding with a solo shot to right in the bottom of the inning. In the seventh, the White Sox found some more two-out magic, as Adam Engel, Luis Robert and McCann all singled. McCann’s knock drove in another run, and he scored when García homered from the right side, which put the White Sox in double digits.
Keuchel picked up the win in his White Sox debut, with a line that’s a little uglier than he deserved. He gave up a pair of one-out singles in the sixth before Rick Renteria came out, and Cishek allowed both of them to score on Cruz’s homer.
Otherwise, he retired the first nine batters without incident, and the only trouble he faced through five was thanks to the left side of his infield. Yoán Moncada bounced a throw past Abreu, but since he was charging it was ruled a single. Keuchel erased that hit with a double-play ball immediately, and he should’ve gotten out of the inning when Cruz hit a grounder to short, but Tim Anderson let it slip under his backhand attempt to extend the inning. Moncada snared Jorge Polanco four pitches later to end the inning, and Keuchel then retired the side in order in the fifth.
Keuchel only struck out one on the day, but the rest of his performance is what you want to see — three singles, no walks, and eight groundouts.
*Nicky Delmonico didn’t have García’s luck recovering from an ugly opener, but his 0-for-2 afternoon served a purpose. He made Dobnak throw 13 pitches during a strikeout, then later drew a five-pitch walk.
*Engel replaced him and lived up to his billing as part-timer. He delivered a single off a lefty as part of that four-run seventh, then made a fine running catch in the right field corner for the second out of the ninth.
*Speaking of the ninth, Jimmy Lambert made his MLB debut and pitched a scoreless inning. He struck out Miguel Sanó to start his career, and pitched around a bloop single to left.
*Aaron Bummer and Evan Marshall are the only Sox pitchers to appear in every game this season, both making scoreless appearances.
*McCann and García went a combined 6-for-8 with four runs and six RBIs from the bottom of the order.
Record: 1-1 | Box score | Statcast
White Sox Legend Dallas Keuchel
That was fun to watch. With every home run my daughter asked why there were no fireworks.
And did anybody catch this – when Leury was called safe at first on a pickoff, during the replay review the PA system was playing “Let It Be”. Clever.
I thought he was out on replay, but I guess it was too close.
Wasn’t a good angle to see when the tag was applied, though he would’ve been out if it was.
Imagine how good this lineup could be next week when Madrigal finally improves enough in Schaumburg to warrant his debut.
I guess you can say he left the ball a Littell too much over the plate.
… Ill see myself out.
If herrera survives the roster cuts over the next several weeks and they send Lambert or heuer to Schaumburg, im gonna be annoyed. I know it’s just one appearance for each but the young guys showed some real upside and herrera looked cooked.
They already ditched Carson Full-Count sooner than I expected, so who knows what to expect? This is a brand new White Sox.
My prognosis is a lot better today. I may yet survive this season.
I know Evan Marshall “technically” doesn’t have a run charged to him but can we not highlight that stat since he is one who shat on Lucas’s ERA and coughed up the lead? Weak contact might cut him some slack but still.
I could be just mad that he was reliever used in that particular situation