The Chicago White Sox (16-13) fell to the Cincinnati Reds (14-15) by a score of 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon.
Dallas Keuchel and Sonny Gray got the ball for their respective teams and provided a great pitching performance for the fans. Unfortunately for the White Sox, the Reds salvaged a series split in extra innings.
Keuchel and the White Sox had to wiggle out of trouble in the bottom of the first. Nick Senzel drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third with no outs on a Jesse Winker double down the line. On the next play, Joey Votto grounded one to first where Jose Abreu attempted to touch first and throw home. He got Senzel at the plate, but a challenge by the Reds revealed that he never touched the bag prior to the throw. This put runners at the corners with one out. Keuchel proceeded to induce an inning-ending double play off the bat of Eugenio Suarez.
Gray had to maneuver out of trouble of his own in the second. After hitting Andrew Vaughn in the helmet with an errant breaking ball and walking Yasmani Grandal, the right-hander struck out Leury Garcia and Billy Hamilton to keep the game scoreless.
The bottom of the fourth was a bit of an unlucky frame for Keuchel, but Abreu's involvement helped retire the side. With Votto up, a check-swing hit by pitch that looked liked a strikeout landed the Reds' slugger on first. Shortly after, Suarez popped one into foul territory that went off the heel of Abreu's glove and fell harmlessly. The at-bat ended with a walk to put two on. Keuchel recorded an out when Mike Moustakas sent a laser to first right at Abreu. Tyler Stephenson recorded the final out of the inning by popping out to Abreu in foul ground.
Both starters made it through seven innings in this Wednesday afternoon pitching battle. Their lines are below for your viewing pleasure.
- Keuchel: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
- Gray: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
In the eighth, the Reds made a battery change, replacing Gray and Stephenson with Tejay Antone and Tucker Barnhart. The new Cincinnati reliever retired the side in order including a strikeout of Yermin Mercedes.
The White Sox made their change in the eighth by bringing in Michael Kopech. After a pair of strikeouts, he issued back-to-back walks to Senzel and Winker. Kopech then retired Kyle Farmer, who came in for the aforementioned injured Votto, by getting him to pop out to Tim Anderson on the infield.
Like Antone, Kopech stayed in for the ninth but ran into some trouble. Alex Blandino reached second on a single to right and an error by Leury Garcia. The White Sox intentionally walked Tyler Naquin to put two on with two outs. Jonathan India took a close 3-2 pitch for ball four to load the bases, forcing the hand of manager Tony La Russa. A double switch occurred as Liam Hendriks took the mound and Jake Lamb replaced Andrew Vaughn in left. The Australian-born closer got Tucker Barnhart to ground out to Yoan Moncada at third to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the tenth, Hendriks was the designated runner at second because of the double switch. Grandal drew a walk to put two on and was then forced out by a Garcia jam shot. With runners at the corners, Barnhart caught Garcia attempting to steal second. Billy Hamilton then struck out to end the inning.
Cincinnati walked it off in their half of the tenth. Hendriks stayed in with Barnhart as the granted runner at second. Senzel led off with a liner to left that fell in front of Lamb and put runners at the corners. Winker then played hero for the Reds by blistering a ball to center that scored Barnhart, winning the game 1-0.
The White Sox will have a day off on Thursday before beginning a weekend series in Kansas City against the Royals. Carlos Rodon is set to throw in the series opener.
For further commentary from today's game and additional commentary after each White Sox contest, tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast.