On Monday, the Chicago White Sox played the first of seven home games. It was the first of three against the Cleveland Guardians. The Sox went into the game riding the six-game winning streak after sweeping Boston at Fenway Park. Despite the Sox scoring more runs this time around against Cleveland, the results weren't different than earlier this season.
The Amazing Michael Kopech
White Sox starter Michael Kopech took the mound and, after a rough first inning, was electric. Kopech pitched a strong six innings allowing just one unearned run. He allowed two hits, fanned seven, and issued two free passes. Kopech exuded confidence on the mound. His three-pitch mix of fastball, curve, and slider were thrown with conviction and late horizontal movement all evening. He commanded the strike zone and had his way with Guardians hitters. The elite command was illustrated by his 15 called strikes and 12 swinging strikes.
Quite The Moment
The evening did not get out to the start anyone expected. Josh Naylor walked with one out and scored from first after Gavin Sheets dropped a routine fly ball.
In the bottom half of the first, Sheets was able to redeem himself. Yoan Moncado was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat of the season. Luis Robert singled with two outs to put runners on the corners. Yasmani Grandal then walked to load the bases. Moncada was able to score from the third on a wild pitch from Plesac with Sheets at the plate. Then, on a 1-2 pitch with two outs, Gavin Sheets hit an absolute missile for a home run to right field. After the first inning, the White Sox were already up 4-1.
The Runs Keep Coming
In the seventh, the South Siders added another run when Tim Anderson doubled to right-center field. Leury Garcia scored from first base on the hit. In the eight, after a walk, an error, and a wild pitch, there were runners on the corners with one out. AJ Pollock stepped up to the plate and finally clobbered his first home run of the season. He gave the White Sox a 8-2 lead, which was more than enough to secure the seventh straight win, right?
Ninth Inning Madness
Tanner Banks came in to get the final three outs and things got ugly. Andres Gimenez led off the inning with a solo home run to left to make the score 8-3. Amed Roasrio singled and reached third base on an error by Anderson. He then scored on a fielding error by Yoan Moncada. Tony La Russa saw enough at that point and went to his closer Liam Hendriks. Hendriks gave up a single to the first hitter he saw, Owen Miller, to load the bases. It was then when Josh Naylor hit a grand slam to tie the game at 8-8.
The game went to extra innings and the Guardians wasted no time. Gimenez doubled to lead off the inning and ghost runner Ernie Clement scored. The White Sox came right back in the bottom half with a run. Pollock singled to right and Reese McGuire hit into a fielder’s choice that scored ghost runner Adam Engel who reached third on the single. The White Sox loaded the bases again as they did in the ninth, but failed to score. The nail in the coffin came in the 11th inning when Josh Naylor hit a three-run homer to put the Guardians up 12-9 for good.
Tim Anderson had two errors and now leads the league with nine.
Joe Kelly made his White Sox debut and pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Michael Kopech lowered his ERA to 0.93 on the year.
Reynaldo Lopez left the game in the 11th with lower back tightness.
What’s On Tap Next?
Nevertheless, we move on after the soul crushing loss. The White Sox and Guardians will go at it again on Tuesday. Cleveland will send Cal Quantrill to the mound to face ace Lucas Giolito. You can catch all the action on NBC Sports Net Chicago.