After a scheduled day off on Friday and a postponement on Saturday, the White Sox were looking to improve to above .500 for the first time in 2021 on Sunday with a win over the Royals.
After missed opportunities in the second and third innings, the White Sox finally opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth when Leury Garcia placed an RBI double down the left field line.
The White Sox kept the early lead for just half an inning as the Royals got on the board in the fifth, thanks to a Whit Merrifield single.
That blemish concluded the outing for White Sox starter Dylan Cease, who posted a line of 4.2 innings pitched, one run allowed, three walks, and six strikeouts.
Michael Kopech, who has been absolutely filthy in the early going, stepped in and continued what has been a great start to his 2021 campaign.
Kansas City surged out in front when Andrew Benintendi laced an RBI single off White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer in the top of the eighth inning.
With the White Sox trailing late and needing runs, Tony La Russa pulled Andrew Vaughn from the lineup in favor of Adam Eaton with a runner on in the bottom half of the inning. Eaton did his job and then some in the pinch-hit situation, putting the White Sox back in the lead with a clutch two-run home run.
Liam Hendriks took the mound in the bottom of the ninth looking to lock down his second save in a White Sox uniform. However, Royals’ first baseman Carlos Santana had other plans. The longtime AL Central menace up led off the visitors’ half of the ninth with a solo home run to tie the game at three.
As the game headed to extra innings, flamethrowing lefty Garrett Crochet took the mound for the White Sox. After a bunt moved the granted runner on second base to third, the Royals continued to deploy small ball. Another bunt trickled to Crochet, who spiked the ball into the ground on the throw home leading to a Royals lead which they would not relinquish.
The White Sox went down quietly in their half of the extra frame and dropped the series finale 4-3.
It was an up-and-down game for the White Sox, who were unable to get over the .500 hump. There has been panic throughout the fan base after a less than ideal start to the season, but things can turn around quickly. The 2020 White Sox went 11-11 to start the year before putting together a torrid 25-5 run.
With so many injuries and a rough start for a bullpen that’s simply too talented to not put it together, panic should not be in the minds of White Sox fans. They could have a much worse record at the moment and are hardly as good as they can be right now.
What’s On Tap Next?
The White Sox will have a chance to get back to their winning ways when the Cleveland Indians come to town for a four-game series. The action commences tonight at 7:10 PM CT and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+.
Tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast for postgame shows plus further analysis and commentary on the White Sox all season.