With the game tied at 2 in the bottom of the 10th inning on Friday night, Liam Hendriks fielded a bunt from the first batter, but failed to record the first out when he bounced the throw to first base. That put runners on the corners, and while Hendriks retired the next two batters, but the latter hit a 300-foot fly ball that registered as the game-winning sac fly.
With the game tied at 2 in the bottom of the 10th inning tonight, Hendriks fielded a bunt from the first batter, and this time he recorded the out at first. He once again retired the next two batters — shallow flyout and a strikeout — and that was enough to get the game to the 11th.
Gregory Soto then had his own chance to field a bunt from Elvis Andrus to start the 11th inning, but he whiffed on his pickup attempt to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Yoán Moncada then anticipated an inside sinker on the first pitch and bounced a single through the left side to score Manfred Man Seby Zavala, and with three outs to play with, the Sox didn’t have to settle for one run.
José Abreu struck out looking, but Andrus and Moncada executed a double steal on Soto, and that allowed Eloy Jiménez’s ordinary fly to give the Sox a two-run lead.
Aaron Bummer then took over in the bottom of the 11th, and while he allowed a two-out single inside first base to Javier Báez to score Detroit’s Manfred Man, Luis Robert flagged down Spencer Torkelson’s line drive to secure an unimpressive but sorely needed victory.
(And one can question whether it’s much of a victory at all, because they lost a half-game in the standings. Cleveland swept its doubleheader against the Twins, winning Game 2 in 15 innings despite blowing a 5-0 lead in the eighth inning. The White Sox now trail the Guardians by 4½; the Twins are seven back.)
Andrus’ hustle-based feats in the top of the 11th offset what could’ve been a fatal mistake in the bottom of the eighth. Kendall Graveman created his own problems by walking Akil Baddoo on four pitches with one out, and Baddoo predictably stole second. He then advanced to third on Riley Greene’s grounder toward the hole on the left side, and even though Andrus gloved it with a diving stop, Baddoo blew through the stop sign kept advancing toward home.
Baddoo realized he screwed up, because he broke his stride briefly upon crossing third base coach Ramon Santiago before resuming full speed. Andrus didn’t anticipate that breakdown, and he struggled to process the decision, taking two extra steps toward home before unleashing a throw that took Yasmani Grandal well up the first-base line. Baddoo scored the tying run, and Greene took second.
But for the second straight night, the Sox were operating with dangerously thin margins. They were held to two hits over the first six innings, at the end of which they trailed 1-0 because Victor Reyes hit a floater over a leaping José Abreu for a two-out RBI single.
They only got to Edwin Rodriguez in the middle of his third time through, which took hold in the seventh. He plunked Eloy Jiménez with one out, then issued his first two walks of the night to Andrew Vaughn and Yasmani Grandal to load the bases. That ended his evening, and AJ Pollock started Jason Foley’s evening by bouncing a single through the middle for the Sox’s only two runs in regulation.
That put Davis Martin in line for the win, which he deserved for a heroic six innings on short notice. He stepped in for Johnny Cueto, who was scratched with an illness, and delivered six inning that would fit perfectly within Cueto’s game log: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
Martin’s night started with a walk, but he erased it with a double play, and that was far more characteristic of his performance.
He only encountered turbulence in the sixth, and there was a lot of it. Tucker Barnhart opened with a double, after which Martin survived a lineout from Baddoo and a Greene groundout that was originally ruled an infield single, before the review validated Romy González’s superb barehanded effort. The review gave Martin a second out, but he couldn’t record a third without suffering damage. He located his 1-1 fastball in off the plate to Reyes, but Reyes beat Martin by muscling a line drive over Abreu to score Barnhart.
Martin then had to survive González biffing a far easier play than the one he made on Greene before Abreu secured a popup near the Sox dugout to end the frame.
Hendriks ended up getting the win instead of Martin, which makes up for getting the loss on an unearned run the night before. Reynaldo López pitched an easy ninth ahead of him, so Miguel Cairo’s ninth- and 10th-inning choices for tie games on the road worked well enough once again.
A.J. Hinch’s 10th-inning choice also held up for the second straight night, as Alex Lange retired the side. This time the Sox made contact, but one was a Pollock nubber that resulted in Leury García getting hung up between second and third, and while García extended the rundown long enough for Pollock to replace him at second, Pollock didn’t go any further, for Robert grounded out, and pinch-hitting Gavin Sheets struck out.
*Moncada picked up his first steal of the season as a trailing runner.
*Both teams tallied just five hits, with Moncada owning the only multi-hit game.