The Chicago White Sox began their first postseason appearance since 2008 by swinging their way past the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday afternoon.
Lucas Giolito and Jesus Luzardo got the ball for their respective clubs and Giolito didn’t disappoint for the visitors. The Sox bats got to Luzardo and chased him from the game early.
The White Sox threatened but couldn’t score in their half of the first. Tim Anderson led off with a single to right. Three batters later, Jose Abreu did the same to put runners at the corners with two outs. Luzardo bated James McCann into chasing a high fastball for strike three to end the inning.
In the top of the second, Adam Engel gave the Sox their first postseason run with a solo shot to left to make it 1–0.
In the top of the third, Anderson started the frame off with another single. Yoan Moncada dribbled into an out that advanced Anderson to second with one out. After Yasmani Grandal was robbed by a nice play from Jake Lamb, Abreu cranked out a two-run home run to extend the Sox lead to 3–0.
With one out in the top of the fourth, Engel recorded his second hit of the game, a ringing double off the wall. This forced Oakland manager Bob Melvin to go to the bullpen and bring in right hander J.B. Wendelken. The new reliever was able to record the final two outs of the inning to keep the game 3–0 Sox.
Wendelken pitched really well and was replaced by Yusmeiro Petit in the top of the seventh. Aside from a two-out double from Anderson, Petit got the three outs he needed.
Giolito was dominant through six innings and allowed his first baserunner in the seventh on a Tommy La Stella single up the middle. He then struck out Robbie Grossman and Marcus Semien back-to-back, and then retired Matt Olson on a first-pitch popup in foul territory. The game remained 3–0 Sox after seven.
Joakim Soria was the fourth Oakland hurler to enter the game and was greeted by a Yasmani Grandal solo bomb to make it 4–0 visitors in the top of the eighth.
Giolito returned for the bottom of the eighth and issued his first walk, one of the lead off variety to Mark Canha, and then a single to put runners at the corners. Manager Ricky Renteria then replaced him with Evan Marshall, who got a ground ball fielder’s choice from Ramon Laureano that plated the Athletics’ first run of the game, leaving the Sox with a three-run lead. After a line out, Sean Murphy lined a single up the middle to put two on with two outs and turned the lineup over. Renteria made another switch by bringing in the lefty Aaron Bummer to face the same-sided La Stella. Oakland’s lead-off man grounded out to Anderson to end the inning.
The White Sox offense saw the lethal arm of Jake Diekman in their half of the ninth. His 0.42 ERA carried over to a one-two-three inning.
With a three-run lead, Alex Colomé entered the game to try and close out the game for the Sox. He retired the side in order to seal the Sox 4–1 victory, and give the Sox a 1-0 lead in this best-of-three series.
These two clubs will battle it out again tomorrow at 2:00 P.M. CDT on ESPN with the White Sox having a chance to advance in the postseason. Dallas Keuchel will have the start for the south side opposite Chris Bassitt for Oakland.
Be sure to check out Sox On Tap for recaps, analysis, and reactions throughout the playoffs.