After a disappointing loss on Opening Day, the White Sox got the bats going to capture their first victory of the season on Friday. But don’t let the 12-8 final score fool you, there were a few heart attacks along the way.
The Angels opened the scoring in this contest by touching Dallas Keuchel for a lone run in the first inning thanks to a Shohei Ohtani triple followed by a Mike Trout RBI single.
The White Sox got on the board in the top of the third thanks to a clutch grand slam by Jose Abreu to give his team a 4-1 lead.
The White Sox extended their lead in the top of the fourth when Adam Eaton singled a run home and Yermin Mercedes added a two-RBI base hit to make it 7-1.
The Angels responded in their half of the fourth inning, however. Albert Pujols blasted a three-run home run to center field and Eaton misplayed a fly ball down the right field line that allowed two more Halos runs to cross the plate. It was a 7-6 ballgame at this point.
The scoring came to a halt in the mid-late innings, where White Sox fans got to see Michael Kopech return to the mound for the first time since September 2018. The hard-throwing righty struck out three over two innings of scoreless work and looked impressive while doing so.
The offense returned for both sides in the final frame, however. Tim Anderson blasted his first home run of the season to make it 8-6 and provide the White Sox with a little bit of breathing room. The bats were just getting going though, as Yasmani Grandal and Yermin Mercedes both added two-run doubles to double up the Angels 12-6.
Those insurance runs proved to be vital because Shohei Ohtani made things interesting with a two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth. That would be the extent of the rally as Liam Hendriks eventually shut the door to cap a 12-8 White Sox winner.
The story of the night was Yermin Mercedes. The slugging righty got his first MLB start at DH and made the most of the opportunity by going 5-5 with four RBIs and one run scored.
The White Sox and Angels continue their weekend series on Saturday night when Lance Lynn makes his debut for the South Siders. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 PM CT and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.
Tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast for postgame reaction in addition to White Sox analysis and commentary throughout the season.