White Sox 9, Royals 2: Nick Madrigal breaks through

Nick Madrigal entered today’s game with zero hits to his name.

He now has four. Two came in the same inning.

Madrigal singled to open the seventh, and then he singled with two outs in the seventh to cap off a seven-run explosion that blew open what had been a close, well-pitched game. The White Sox cruised to a sweep, and now are over .500.

Madrigal was already 2-for-2 when he came to the plate, lining a patented single to right field for his first MLB hit in the third, then shooting a single through the middle at 112 mph in the fifth.

His third took the form of a flare to right field on a good 1-2 slider by Scott Barlow to lead off the seventh, which is the kind of hit that makes him feared.

The White Sox capitalized, again and again and again. Luis Robert, who had a rougher afternoon at the plate, looped a spinner slider to left to put runners on the corners, and so Mike Matheny called for Greg Holland. He got Yoán Moncada to pop out to start his afternoon, but that was his peak.

José Abreu started Holland’s demise by swatting a single through the middle for a 3-2 lead, and Yasmani Grandal made it 4-2 with a lined single to center. Edwin Encarnación got locked up for a strikeout, which brought Eloy Jiménez to the plate. Holland pitched around him to take a crack at Nicky Delmonico, but Holland hung a slider, and Delmonico ripped it to right field to make it a 6-2 game.

Out went Holland, in came Glenn Sparkman, and so did the comedy. He should’ve been out of the inning when Danny Mendick hit a weak comebacker to mound, but whoooooooops.

That brought Madrigal back to the plate as the Sox batted around, and he punched a single through the middle for his fourth hit and his first RBI.

That outburst gave Dylan Cease his first win of the season, and it was one he earned. He limited the Royals to two runs on five hits and walk over six innings, and while he only struck out four and induced seven swinging strikes on 83 pitches, he stayed on the attack.

He hung a changeup to Alex Gordon that went a long way in the second, and a leadoff double came around to score on him in the fifth, but he got into good counts against a typically aggressive KC team and didn’t waste them.

The White Sox offense also had issues productively directing its energy over the first six innings. Jake Junis got two line drive double plays in each of the first two innings. He snagged Abreu’s shot back to the mound for a 1-3 double play, then kicked Jiménez’s comebacker to Maikel Franco in the air, who threw to first for a 1-5-3 double play. Robert struck out on three pitches to hamper a potential two-on-one-out rally in the third.

They finally broke through for runs in the fourth and fifth, albeit inefficiently. Grandal followed Abreu’s leadoff double with a single to tie the game at 1, but after Encarnación singled to left, Jiménez and Delmonico both hit grounders, and the latter turned into a double play that kept the game tied.

An inning later, the Sox loaded the bases on a single by Madrigal off Junis, and two walks from new pitcher Tyler Zuber. Jose Abreu struck out, but Grandal worked a full-count walk to give the Sox a one-run lead, but one the Royals erased in the bottom of the inning.

The Royals basically forced the White Sox to string together enough quality plate appearances, as Abreu’s fourth-inning double was the Sox’s lone extra-base hit all day. Thirteen singles and six walks got the job done.

Bullet points:

*Ross Detwiler gave up his first baserunner of his season two batters into his appearance, but he made it through the last two innings on just 16 pitches to make Rick Renteria’s job easy.

*The White Sox have won four in a row, which they didn’t do until their 56th game of the season in 2019.

*Yermín Mercedes made his debut as a pinch hitter for Encarnación in the eighth. He worked a 3-0 count, but Sparkman came back to get him to ground out to second.

*I caught the middle innings of this game on the radio, so fill in any visual details you think might be worth noting.

Record: 5-4 | 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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Thrilled for both Madrigal and Mercedes.

Encarnacion has looked completely overmatched in the early going. Ricky needs to get Eloy up in the order. He ought to be third, but at a minimum, he needs to move in front of EE.

LuBob DuRob

I wish my old friend Buehrleman could give me an update on Luis Robert’s swing percentage. I’m sure he is keeping track. I decided to look it up. If my math is correct, 109 pitches and 75 swings for a robust 68.8 swing%.


Beating up on the weak teams is an improvement over the recent past. Aside from the offensive outburst, it was good to see Cease regroup after his awful first start.

We still have baseball tomorrow! And eleven days before the first game with St. Louis is scheduled..


For whatever it’s worth, Madrigal had the hardest exit velocity of the game at 112 MPH. That’s a pretty hard hit ball.


I just watched all of his hits and still cannot figure out which one was the 112 mph hit. Are we sure this stat is correct?


Now in playoff position – 2nd place in the division!

Yolmer's gatorade

Good game, but this has got to be the end of Nicky Delmonico right? Gotta figure he’d be the odd man out once Mazara returns, which should be very soon.


Maybe? I think Mercedes really doesn’t add much in the way of options beyond Grandal, McCann and Collins. I guess he can kind of play 3rd if Moncada takes a day off, but it isn’t great.

That being said, Encarnacion seems like he needs a few days to find himself, so maybe Mercedes fits in there.


Encarnacion had two hits today, so it might not be good to sit him while he is still trying to get his timing down.