The White Sox usually potent offense only mustered three hits Friday in the opener of a 3-game set against the Tigers at Sox Park, but it was just enough to get the win and keep the Sox on top of the AL Central.
Eloy Jimenez. Jimenez had two of the three Sox hits, including the biggest one, a three-run blast in the 6th to put the Sox ahead for good. And then he said hello to his mother. So wholesome.
Yolmer Sanchez. Sanchez got the offense started with a double in the sixth for the Sox first hit off Detroit starter Casey Mize. He came around to score on an RBI groundout by Nick Madrigal. He’s filled in for Yoan Moncada admirably, which is a nice luxury to have. Moncada still isn’t fully right after dealing with COVID-19 before the season, so getting him the rest his legs need will be helpful heading into the 8 remaining games vs. Minnesota and Cleveland, and eventually (hopefully) the playoffs.
The bullpen. Lucas Giolito labored through 5.2 innings of work, throwing 114 pitches before giving way in the 6th. He did strike out 7 but allowed 4 free passes and 4 hits, leading to Detroit’s three runs. But once the bullpen took over, they held the Tigers offense to just one hit and no walks the rest of the way, allowing the offense to do it’s thing late in the game. Evan Marshall got credit for the win, Codi Heuer got the hold and Alex Colome finished it off with the save to keep the Sox a game clear of the rest of the division.
Offensive offense. In most cases, only getting three hits won’t get you a win. Fortunately, one of them was a three run home run. It’s a good thing the Sox pitching has been so good, otherwise a night like this would likely end up a loss.
Jose Abreu’s hit streak. Abreu took an ohfer, snapping his 22-game hitting streak. It’s a career long for the Sox slugging first basemen, and helped vault him into the AL MVP conversation. Let’s hope he starts a new one tomorrow.
The Sox remain one game up on Minnesota who beat Cleveland at home Friday night. That drops Cleveland to 2.5 games behind the Sox heading into Saturday’s action. That will (regretfully) feature Reynaldo Lopez getting the start for the Sox, and I hope he proves me wrong.
Pito Patter, Sox fans…