Fans were treated to a thrilling Chicago White Sox comeback victory on a steamy Tuesday night at 35th/Shields with temperatures near 100 degrees. Sox starter Dylan Cease received an unfortunate no-decision on a night where he flirted with a no-hitter. He overpowered The Toronto Blue Jays' star-studded lineup with a devastating slider and took advantage of home plate umpire Doug Eddings’ generous strike zone.
When Cease exited after the sixth inning, he had compiled 11 strikeouts, only allowing an infield single to Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and issued just two free passes. He recorded 20 swings and misses, with 18 coming from his slider.
White Sox fans have been clamoring for the White Sox to DFA Josh Harrison for weeks now. However, he has proved to be instrumental in the first two games against Toronto.
The White Sox have struggled at home this year until last night’s 12-inning affair. Harrison’s stellar defensive plays and two-run homer Monday followed by his sliding catch and walk-off knock Tuesday helped the Sox capture their first series win at Guaranteed Rate Field since April 15-17 vs the Rays. The second baseman’s two-out walk-off base hit capped off a dramatic evening in the four-and-a-half-hour contest.
“I don’t play for the motivation of people that don’t like me. The greatest players in the world have people that don’t like them. They’re entitled to their own opinion. And at the end of the day, Godspeed,” said the classy Harrison after the game.
Relievers Aaron Bummer and Liam Hendriks are on the injured list, while Matt Foster was on the bereavement list. Joe Kelly was not available, as the White Sox aren't using him in back-to-back outings since his return from the injured list.
The short bullpen required Tony La Russa to use rookie Davis Martin in the eighth inning and Toronto took advantage. The Blue Jays rallied with three walks, two infield hits, and pinch-hitter Cavan Biggio's flare over the outstretched arm of Tim Anderson. That sequence put the visitors on top 3-2 after entering the frame down two runs.
The game reached extra innings after an amazing White Sox comeback in the ninth against Jordan Romano. The Jays' closer walked Josh Harrison to open the frame. But Danny Mendick’s double-play grounder seemed to be the beginning of the end. Romano then walked Anderson on four pitches, and Andrew Vaughn followed with a double to set up Luis Robert for a game-tying a single to right field.
Vince Velasquez worked the last two innings of the game and earned the win. He balked before his first pitch, which set up Raimel Tapia's go-ahead single in the 11th. However, Velasquez retired the Blue Jays in order in the 12th. Adam Engel made a running catch down the right-field line, followed by Robert’s nice grab in center on Gabriel Moreno’s line drive. Engel then chased down Santiago Espinal’s long fly to right-center to keep the Blue Jays scoreless in the 12th.
With runners on first and second in the bottom half, Harrison drove in Jose Abreu with a liner to center off rookie Matt Gage. The South Siders never quit and walked off the field winners of six of their last eight games.
Liam Hendriks completed his first throwing session Monday.
Eloy Jimenez restarted his rehab assignment and went 0-4 with two strikeouts.
Yoan Moncada plans to start hitting this week.
What's On Tap Next?
Ross Stripling and Lucas Giolito pitch in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Stripling carries a 1.04 ERA in four June appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays. Giolito was pummeled for eight runs and seven hits in the Chicago White Sox's 13-3 loss at Houston on Friday night. The Sox will go for the sweep when the finale gets underway at 1:10 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago.