Royals 6, White Sox 2: Winning streak ends with a thud

A 6-foot-4-inch, 220-pound outfielder with a sprint speed of 28.1 feet per second leaves home plate for first base at 2:48 p.m. At the same time, a 6-foot-3-inch, 235-pound first baseman with a sprint speed of 26.5 feet per second leaves first base for home plate. Where will they meet?

The answer is about 30 feet from home plate. There were no survivors.

With one on and nobody out in the top of the second, Hunter Dozier popped up a Lucas Giolito changeup around home plate. On his way to first base, he had to duck around Yasmani Grandal, who was tracking the arc of the pop-up from out of his crouch. Dozier then tossed his bat dejectedly toward the Royals dugout.

By the time he looked up, he was already gaining speed toward first base. From the opposite direction, José Abreu had been barreling toward home with the aim of calling off Grandal, as corner infielders do when they have the chance.

Abreu never reached Grandal, because his large frame smashed Dozier’s in a direct collision. Both left the game. Abreu suffered a facial contusion and laceration along with a bruised left knee, but the initial concussion assessment was negative. The Royals said Dozier had a quad contusion and neck discomfort.

Only one inning was in the books, but the White Sox had made the first step toward extending their winning streak to seven games by taking a 1-0 lead in their first chance at-bat. Alas, when the game resumed, Michael A. Taylor poked the first of two Kansas City flies that ended up in the Royals bullpen, and the rules of poker say a pair of multi-run homers beats a pair of sac flies. KC instead improved its lot by ending its 11-game skid.

Giolito’s line — 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 HR — looked worse than his performance, after a few games where he didn’t look as effective as his line suggested. His average fastball rounded up to 94, and the changeup action had more of that flutter on it for 12 of his 18 swinging strikes on the afternoon. Alas, his command wasn’t quite all the way back, and a couple of pitches with subpar location were hit in the wrong direction. Taylor homered on a 91 mph fastball that was middle-middle, while Sal Perez flipped a outside-corner slider that was a little too elevated into the Kraft Kave.

The White Sox couldn’t tap into the same jet stream, and they couldn’t come through with impact hits elsewhere. They had their best chance for a big inning at the beginning, when they posted runners on the corners against Brad Keller with one out. Abreu lined a sac fly to right, but Yermín Mercedes kept the line moving with a walk that drove Keller past 30 pitches on the inning. Grandal followed with his own prolonged at-bat, laying off a shin-high slider on a full count. But as he started to take his base, Dan Bellino emphatically rung him up on one of the worse called strikes of the year.

Everything went downhill from there. Keller retired the next six to settle in well enough, while Giolito’s two gopher balls put the Sox behind 5-1 after three. The Sox did gain one back when Andrew Vaughn converted Zack Collins’ leadoff double into a run with a sac fly, but Nick Madrigal of all people struck out swinging to end that threat, and didn’t run to first as the ball temporarily escaped Cam Gallagher.

The Sox tried to start rallies in the last two innings of the abbreviated afternoon, but Adam Eaton and Madrigal both erased leadoff runners with double plays. Eaton’s was especially ugly, harmlessly rolling over a slider on a 2-0 count.

Bullet points:

*The Sox are now 4-1 in doubleheader games this year, with Michael Kopech hoping to get them back into the win column tonight.

*Leury García made a fine diving catch on a sinking liner that would’ve posed problems if it got past him.

*Abreu once again looked irreplaceable in the field, as nobody covered first on what could’ve been a 3-6-1 double play ball after Grandal came well off first base to field the chopper and get the force. A subsequently 5-4-3 attempt wasn’t that crisp, eitehr.

*Grandal did team up with Madrigal to make a nifty recovery on a 3-4-3. The ball glanced off his mitt into short right field, where Madrigal gathered the ball and threw to first, where Grandal returned to for the throw.

*The Sox lost the strike zone war, with 11 strikeouts to four walks over seven innings, including a three-K inning for Scott Barlow on 12 pitches in the sixth.

Record: 22-14 | Box score | Statcast

(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

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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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Root Cause

That was enough bad luck that hopefully lasts us for a while.
Damn, that was painful to watch.

Joliet Orange Sox

I think Kamil Krzaczynski who took the photo might have Polish roots. Just a guess.


you dont say

My mom’s maiden name started with the letters Krz and I had an Uncle Kamil and my mom had Polish roots so I don’t think my guess is crazy.


Great news of no concussion, and nothing about anything else being broken. I figured he would be OK, but I never thought Eloy’s injury would be near season ending, nor Robert… or Engel would miss two months with a pulled hamstring. Hopefully they can just stay healthy from here, and get those guys back too before October. Starting with Engel pretty damn soon.


Was the strike on Grandal called or did the ump indicate he went around? I’ve seen both claimed. Neither a good call, but the check swing is easier to believe than the called strike.


Game cast has it a strike out looking.


The MLB team is doing better than the low-A affiliate. I hope one of the Cannon Ballers is keeping a diary as a Jim Bouton tome of this experience would be a good read.

Last edited 1 year ago by asinwreck

Sounds like those fears of aggressive prospect assignments after losing Great Falls were well justified

Root Cause

I will now and forever associate “Doubleheader” with Abreu and Dozier playing chicken without either one realizing it.