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Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jiménez homered in the same game for the first time in what should be a long and productive partnership.
Granted, a lot a players homered during a lively night at Guaranteed Rate Field, but the point stands.
The White Sox and Royals mashed three homers apiece, much like toilet paper rolls, the value proposition wasn’t reflected by number of units alone. Kansas City’s were all one-ply, while the White Sox went for deluxe comfort with grooves. The Sox’ opening foray was a Jiménez grand slam, and the closer was a majestic Moncada two-run dinger that buried itself in the center field shrubbery some 452 feet away. Adam Engel’s opposite-field solo shot in between better reflected the absurdity of the conditions.
Iván Nova managed the basepaths better, and he and the White Sox bullpen put a lid on the proceedings after the early onslaught, so he beat fellow 9-12 starter Jakob Junis to a 10th victory of the season.
Nova absorbed three blows over the first two innings, with Adalberto Mondesi going deep first, and Alex Gordon and Ryan O’Hearn going back-to-back in the second. Despite three homers, the Royals trailed because of the damage inflicted by Jiménez.
Moncada set him up. Leury Garcia singled off the wall and Tim Anderson walked, but Jose Abreu struck out to threaten the rally. Up cam Moncada, who smoked a liner off Junis’ left wrist and reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Jiménez then unloaded them with a very 2019 homer, but also one that reflects his strength. He got underneath a sinker and sliced it into the visiting bullpen for his first MLB grand slam and a 4-1 lead, which the Sox didn’t relinquish.
While Engel’s homer was overshadowed by the Moncada moonshot off Kevan McCarthy in the seventh, it served the purpose of immediately answering KC’s two-run second and restoring a multi-run lead. Nova took it into the sixth, and four White Sox relievers took it the rest of the way.
*Moncada raised his average to .301 with a 3-for-4 night, and starred in an excellent album cover.
*Tim Anderson’s average dropped to .331 after going 0-for-4 with the walk, striking out twice. He also missed a chance to cash in on a fine ranging play to his right by throwing wide when he had more time, but he wasn’t charged with an error due to the degree of difficulty in gloving it. Still, that’s the kind of unmade play that makes it hard for him to address the deficit the error total creates.
*Anderson did make a slick turn on a fine 4-6-3 started by Yolmer Sánchez.
*Zack Collins explored a fourth true outcome by reaching on catcher interference.