The Chicago White Sox dropped the opener of a two-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night due to some costly mistakes.
Dylan Cease and Joe Musgrove put in good starts for their respective clubs, but the Sox bullpen couldn’t hold off the Bucs in the late going.
The pitching for both teams held up until the top of the fifth. With Dovydas Neverauskas, the first Lithuanian-born pitcher in the big leagues, on the mound, Nick Madrigal doubled for his first MLB two-bagger.
Tim Anderson followed with a single to center. On the play, Madrigal got the stop sign at third but ran through it. A close play at the plate resulted in an out. The White Sox challenged the play, but the ruling on the field stood.
Also on the play, Anderson was able to advance to second. Yoan Moncada then rifled a ball to the right side that was hard to handle. That scorcher led to a bobble, allowing Anderson was able to score from second to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
Yasmani Grandal then sent a ball to Philadelphia to extend the team’s lead to 3-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, Josh Bell doubled with two outs. Ke’Bryan Hayes tripled to right to plate Bell and make it a 3-1 game. Kevin Newman singled to drive home Hayes, making the score 3-2 Sox.
Later in the top of the eighth with Chris Stratton on the bump, Abreu singled with two outs. Eloy Jimenez then doubled him home to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
Pittsburgh tied the game in their half of the eighth. With Evan Marshall on the hill for the Sox, Newman started the frame off with a double. Jacob Stallings did the same to make it a one-run game at 4-3. A groundout pushed Stallings to third and he was then plated by an Erik Gonzalez single, making the score 4-4. A wild pitch and passed ball allowed Gonzalez to advance to third without the ball being put in play. Marshall was able to retire Bryan Reynolds but was then replaced by Ross Detwiler. After a long at-bat, Detwiler was able to get Colin Moran to ground out to Abreu at first.
In the top of the ninth, Madrigal doubled with one out against Richard Rodriguez. On the following play, he tried to advance to third on a Tim Anderson groundball to short but was thrown out easily at third base. It was Madrigal’s second costly baserunning blunder of the contest.
In the Pirates’ ninth, Detwiler stayed in to face Gregory Polanco and Bell. He gave up singles to both and was then pulled for Jimmy Cordero. With Hayes up, a wild pitch allowed both runners to move up a base. The White Sox issued an intentional walk to Hayes that loaded the bases with nobody out. Newman sent one back to Cordero which he fed to Grandal at the plate. The ball was dropped and a run scored, resulting in a 5-4 Pirates win.
Despite the loss, the White Sox remain tied with the Indians for first place in the AL Central. Tonight marked the first Sox road loss in what feels like forever. The series finale in Pittsburgh is scheduled for 6:05 PM CT on Wednesday. Be sure to tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast for reactions and analysis after every White Sox game.