Abreu strikes again: José Abreu hit his 31st home run of the season in the White Sox’s 5-1 victory. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)
The White Sox entered this matchup having lost back-to-back games to the Angels, and Dylan Cease started on the mound to try to avoid the sweep. Things got off to a rough start, as Cease’s first inning was extremely long. In the top of the first, four Angels reached base safely. Three of those Angels reached via walk, and for the second straight day, Shohei Ohtani gave the Angels an early lead, this time with an RBI single. By the end of the inning, Cease had already thrown 36 pitches.
Luckily, the Angels only managed to score one run that inning, and the White Sox answered in the bottom of the first. They tied it when James McCann drove in rookie Danny Mendick (more on him in a bit) with a two-out RBI single.
In the top of the second, Cease put himself in another difficult position, as he put runners on first and second with nobody out. Cease also found himself in a bases loaded, one out jam, when Ohtani came to the plate. Ohtani put up a good fight, as that at-bat lasted nine pitches, but Cease eventually got him swinging on a high fastball that was out of the zone. Cease escaped that jam unscathed, and although he issued five walks and threw 66 pitches through two innings, only one Angel crossed home plate.
The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the third, when José Abreu launched his 31st homer of the year, and mercy, he got all of it.
The home run left Abreu’s bat at 112.9 mph and traveled 462 feet. My goodness. Abreu also reached a milestone with that homer, as that was his 600th career RBI.
Dylan Cease was removed from the game in the top of the fourth with only one out due primarily due to a high pitch count, but despite five walks, his outing could have gone much worse. His final line: three and one-third innings, one run (it was earned), four hits, five walks, four strikeouts. For the first time in Cease’s career, he did not allow a home run.
The score remained 2-1 until September call-up Danny Mendick launched his first career home run to double the White Sox’s lead. Mendick’s solo blast was a 347-foot line drive that landed in the left field bullpen. Congratulations to Mendick on his first major league homer!
The White Sox added a pair of insurance runs later, one on a Yolmer Sánchez RBI single and the other on a Ryan Cordell sacrifice fly. Meanwhile, the bullpen was outstanding, so no insurance runs were needed. Josh Osich, Aaron Bummer, and Alex Colomé combined to pitch five and two-thirds scoreless innings. That trio only allowed one hit and issued just one walk.
Thanks to this 5-1 victory, the White Sox improved to 63-80 on the season, while the Angels fell to 67-77. The White Sox have the day off tomorrow, but they will return to action on Tuesday against the Royals. That game will be at Guaranteed Rate Field, and first pitch will be at 7:10 CST.