Leading the way: Yoán Moncada fell a home run short of the cycle in tonight’s victory. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)
This was an excellent day to be a hitter. Both offenses raced out of the starting blocks, as neither starting pitcher lasted long. In the first, José Abreu jumped on a mistake by Mariners starter Yusei Kikuchi and launched a 447-foot home run. That long homer was Abreu’s 33rd blast of the season, and it gave the White Sox an early 1-0 lead, but the Mariners responded.
In the bottom of the first, after retiring the first batter he faced, White Sox starter Dylan Covey walked three consecutive hitters to load the bases. After a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly by Kyle Lewis, and a single by old friend Omar Narvaez, the Mariners led 3-1 after one inning.
In the second inning, after Adam Engel got picked off, the White Sox had two outs and nobody on base, but they rallied. After consecutive singles by Ryan Cordell, Leury García, and American League batting average leader Tim Anderson, the White Sox had pulled back within one.
The White Sox put up a big, crooked number on the board in the third inning to regain the lead. After a dreaded, leadoff walk to Eloy Jiménez, Yoán Moncada drove him home with an RBI triple. Danny Mendick followed with an RBI single but was thrown out trying to advance to second. Then, with the bases empty, Adam Engel hit his fourth home run of the season to extend the White Sox’s lead to two. What an inning.
Were the Sox done scoring? Of course not. They put up three more in the fourth inning to expand their lead to 8-3. All three of those runs crossed the plate on a Moncada triple. That was Moncada’s third hit of the game, and although it was only the fourth inning, Moncada was already only a home run short of the cycle.
The Mariners got back within three in their half of the fourth. Outfielder Shed Long got a timely hit to drive in two runs with two outs. Long’s two-run single chased Dylan Covey from the game. Covey’s final line was the following: three and two-thirds innings, seven hits, five runs (all earned), three walks, and two strikeouts.
After four innings, both starters were gone, and the White Sox led 8-5, and the bullpen had to slow down a hot Seattle offense. Fortunately, the relievers did just that. John Osich led the way, as he threw two and one-third shutout innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Alex Colomé did not strand either of the two baserunners he inherited from Aaron Bummer, but luckily, Colomé did not have to. Though Colomé allowed a two-run double to pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach, it was not enough for the Mariners to pull even. After eight, the White Sox had an 8-7 advantage.
The White Sox added an insurance run in the ninth on a Jiménez solo home run to the opposite field. That was Eloy’s 27th home run of the season and his third in the past four games. Jiménez’s recent success has boosted his OPS to .793 and his wRC+ to 107.
After tonight’s matchup, the White Sox’s record sits at 65-82, while the Mariners are 60-88. Tomorrow’s game will start at 8:10 CST, and NBC Sports Chicago will televise it. As usual, WGN 720 will have the radio coverage. Let’s hope the bats have another big night.