White Sox 3, Cubs 1: Two homers better than one

The White Sox had trouble stringing together enough hits to make a difference through the first 12 innings of this series, but a couple of long balls got the job done.

Eloy Jiménez once again homered against his former team, while Jose Abreu delivered a solo shot to into the Goose Island. The Cubs could only answer the latter, and so the crosstown series closed to a draw with two wins apiece.

The White Sox made Kyle Hendricks work from the start, but they had a hard time making him pay until Jiménez came to the plate after a Jon Jay leadoff single in the fourth. Jiménez appeared to miss his best chance of the battle by ripping an inside two-seamer barely on the wrong side of the left-field foul pole, but when Hendricks threw a full-count sinker thigh-high on the inner half, Jiménez stayed back a few hundredths of a second longer and walloped it out to center for a two-run shot and a 2-0 lead.

An inning later, having chased Hendricks from the game after just four innings, the Sox got another run off Brad Brach on another full count. After working the count full, Abreu poked an outside-corner fastball over the wall in right for a 3-0 game.

It turns out the four White Sox pitchers used didn’t need it, but it was still comforting considering the traffic they faced. Iván Nova survived hard contact — three of the five hits he allowed were doubles, including two leadoff ones — to throw 5⅔ shutout innings. In the process, he lowered his ERA to 5.58, gaining some separation from Reynaldo López in the process.

The Sox played strong defense all day long. Charlie Tilson made a couple of catches on the warning track, surviving a collision with the wall on the first one and one with Jiménez on the latter. Yoan Moncada came ranging across to stab a shorthop on a tricky chopper by Javier Baez leading off the sixth, which took on increasing importance when Kris Bryant followed with a double.

Aaron Bummer walked Bryant with one out in the eighth to bring Anthony Rizzo to the plate as a tying run, but Leury García turned a chopper on the other side of second into a nifty cross-body 6-3 double play. To cap it off, Yolmer Sanchez started, and García turned, a 4-6-3 double play to enable Alex Colomé to lock down his 20th save and bring the first half of the season to a close.

Bullet points:

*The White Sox went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, but the Cubs did them three worse.

*Sox pitching induced 13 groundouts to just two flyouts, so the infield work was appreciated.

*Moncada singled in his last at-bat to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, and he also drew a walk.

*Tim Timmons had a really large strike zone, and James McCann was twice run up on pitches well off the plate.

*Daniel Palka was optioned to Charlotte after the game.

Record: 42-44 | 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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PauliePaulie

Nice outing for Nova.

Bunting with no score in the 3rd was stupid.

ParisSox

As soon as that pitch to Eloy left Hendricks’ hand I thought it was gone. The only thing that went through my mind was how far.  My wife heard me yell “Oh man!” before she heard the bat crack. Eloy is awesome to watch. 

asinwreck

In the Futures Game, the announcers were wondering how much power Madrigal will develop. Luis Robert was the next batter, and Jim Callis said that Robert “has enough power for two people.”

asinwreck

At an American League mound meeting with the infielders, it appears that Jim Thome is literally twice the mass of Nick Madrigal.

Trooper Galactus

I assumes this means Madrigal will hit 306 home runs for his career and I will be fine with that.

NorthSideHitman

Collins needs more development time and should follow Palka to Charlotte as soon as Castillo returns.

evenyoudorn

Palka is impossible to not like as a person, and I have nothing but hope for Collins – I think he’s probably never going to hit MLB fastballs and hope to be proven wrong.

All that said, I’m like “greased golf tee” apprehensively gazing into a Sox future that doesn’t hinge on guys like this. Says very little for Hostetler’s earliest days, but whatever. College football is littered with the corpses of teams that always win recruiting season (cough A&M). International, trades, these last two drafts… Getting better.

It’s like the Fegan article yesterday. Aside from maybe Colome these are the pieces. It’s on Hahn now to Not. Be. Awful like last time. I love Jose but this is the universe giving the Sox the chance to either correct or relive the sins of 13ish years ago.

Trooper Galactus

I really worry they’ll sign Bumgarner and he’ll fall off a cliff right away.

Right Size Wrong Shape

If he does they could put him at DH.

We wouldn’t even notice a difference, really.

itaita

Yeah but imagine all that grit and will to win he brings.

5742mail

Palka won’t get the chance to hit .010, and it seems like the difference between him and Collins is Collins will walk more, which will result in a higher bop. Now it should be Mercedes turn, he might not be left handed but he can hit.