Between Monday night curling league and a late-night airport pickup, I had to catch this game through phone, MLB.tv and Gameday Audio, so here’s a bullet-point recap:
*Johnny Cueto entered his White Sox debut with no ERA. He left it with a 0.00 ERA after six scoreless innings. He opened his start by striking out the side and retired his first nine hitters, and he faced the minimum through four, but while the Royals started amassing more traffic in the middle innings, they couldn’t square him up for a key hit. The fastball averaged 91-92, but he topped out at 93.5, and it had some jump on it.
*Cueto didn’t get the victory because Kendall Graveman and the White Sox defense conspired against him. Graveman located unusually poorly, and the Royals’ bats looked unusually live against him. They stung him for four hits and three runs over the course of 17 pitches before a Salvador Perez double play stopped the bleeding.
*Maybe Graveman should’ve only allowed two, because Andrew Vaughn couldn’t get back to the wall on Whit Merrifield’s drive off of it, and Yasmani Grandal couldn’t handle a great relay throw from Tim Anderson that beat Nicky Lopez to the plate on the fly.
*Vaughn and Grandal drove in the Sox’s only three runs in regulation. Vaughn cashed in Adam Engel with a sac fly after Engel led off the third inning with a double, then stole third base. Grandal finally showed some power, taking Brad Keller deep on a hanging 0-2 slider in the fourth inning that gave the White Sox that 3-0 lead Graveman blew.
*Luis Robert ended up being the first star because he hit a bigger two-run homer in the 10th inning. Just when it looked like Scott Barlow was set to go six-up-six-down while stranding the Manfred Man, Luis Robert took one inside-corner slider for strike one, then hammered a second one over the wall just left of center to give the White Sox a 5-3 lead.
*The Royals had no such answer for Liam Hendriks, who struck out the side on 12 pitches for the save. This time Hendriks threw only half fastballs.