White Sox 8, Rangers 0: Circumnavigating the bases at Globe Life Park

The Rangers just faced the Astros, losing three out of four games, and by a combined score of 34-4 in the defeats. So if the White Sox felt like they had to keep pace with Astros, they really acted on those urges with a blowout in the first of their first-ever three-game set at Globe Life Park.

Dylan Cease endured early inefficiency to strike out 10 over five innings, after which four White Sox relievers kept the Rangers scoreless despite tons of traffic. On the other side of the ball, the Sox landed a fourth-inning knockout punch with a five-spot against Taylor Hearn. Combine it with Cleveland’s own shutout loss to the Yankees, and the White Sox’s magic number is down to 5.

The Sox offense allowed Cease to breathe easier in the fourth, which Romy González and his three-hit game started, and Luis Robert and his three-hit game finished. González opened with a double, and while César Hernández struck out, Billy Hamilton and Tim Anderson followed with walks to load the bases. Robert then unloaded them with a double to the right-center gap to give Cease a 5-0 lead.

And actually, Robert didn’t finish it, per se. José Abreu followed with a double of his own to chase Hearn from the game, while Eloy Jiménez struck for a two-out single off reliever Jharel Cotton to make it 7-0.

From there, the only question was whether Cease could qualify for the win. He needed 50 pitches to get through two and 71 through three, so he probably couldn’t absorb one more grind. But after the Sox offense took the drama out of the game, Cease decided not to add any of his own. He needed just 21 pitches to complete the fourth and fifth innings, even with an Isiah Kiner-Falefa single in the middle of it.

Cease was fastball-heavy, but not out of necessity. He had both breaking balls working well enough, getting nine swinging strikes on 27 sliders, and three whiffs out of his 13 knuckle curves. The Rangers afforded him a rebound opportunity after his disaster against the Red Sox, and he seized the night.

The White Sox offense also exorcised some frustration. They had 12 hits, and seven of them were doubles, including a pair by González, who made the start in right field with Andrew Vaughn and Adam Engel both on the shelf. Tim Anderson also had one, opening the game with a two-bagger that turned into the game’s first run after a Robert single and a José Abreu sac fly. Consecutive doubles by Yoán Moncada and González made it 2-0 after two.

González kept the seventh inning alive with a two-out single, after which Hernández drove him home with his double to stave off a potential 0-for-5 night. When including the five walks drawn by the White Sox, every starter reached base except Yasmani Grandal, who saw his 30-game on-base streak come crashing to a halt. Perhaps he sacrificed one of his own powers to give his fellow Miami guy González his best game yet.

Bullet points:

*Anderson wasn’t in the original lineup, but he felt good enough to play consecutive games, so here’s hoping this signals a faster return to routine availability. He also reached 20 walks for just the second time in his career.

*Cease is up to 212 strikeouts on the season.

Record: 84-63 | Box score | Statcast

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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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rugbysox

Has anyone been there? It looks terrible on tv. It pains me to think a ballpark devoid of character will exist for at least thirty years.

dongutteridge

Well, it’s in a state devoid of character.

Brett R. Bobysud

Josh is in Texas for the weekend series, so I’m assuming we’ll get a write-up or podcast summation of his thoughts on the new park.

Root Cause

Just how big is that outfield? It looks like a pitchers dream. I couldn’t help but wonder if that altered the team’s plan of attack. 7 Doubles is freaky.

metasox

I can offer a television viewer comment. Watched two innings. was struck by the picnic setup behind home plate. I found it either distracting or somehow offputting. I suppose I would get used to it as a fan watching regularly. But I would rather see normal seating behind the plate and the associated fan reactions (e.g., for a walkoff) that I don’t expect this would offer the same way.

burning-phoneix

When I first saw the pictures of the exterior a year or so back it looked terrible. Like some sort of warehouse.

xubrent

I took my family to the game yesterday. It looks like a barnyard from the outside and even more so once you get inside. Compared to Minute Maid down in Houston this one doesn’t compare. It felt like a pitcher’s park. I don’t think the famous Arlington air that boosted fly balls in the old ballpark apply in this one. I felt the ball could have left the park a couple times yesterday.

We had all-you-can-eat seats and the food was underwhelming. Only choices were nachos, hotdogs and BBQ chicken and the kids are cheese-allergic so that didn’t work out.

But in the end, we experienced a comfortable win, plus Kimbrel threw a ball to my son so he’s happy.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Can we hope that Kimbrel throwing to your son is a sign his control is improving?

jhomeslice

I think Cease settled any doubts as to who their 4th starter will be in the playoffs, if there were any.

itaita

While watching Cease it dawned on me a potential comparison for him. He seems like another Rich Harden. His box scores were always stuff like 5IP 7H 10K 4BB 110 pitches or something. Obviously i dont want Cease’s career to match Hardens in durability since he was done before he was 30, But in terms of how they filled out the box score it seems similar.

As for the Rangers new park as rugbysox asked i have a friend whos a ranger fan and asked her. She said that the place is ugly as hell and lacking in character but its worth the trade off of never having to sit in the Texas summer heat for 3+ hours again. She also said the place might get a little less ugly when they have a team playing there that isnt awful.