Chicago White Sox rally from a 5-run deficit but fall to the Boston Red Sox 9-8 in 10 innings
CHICAGO — When Chicago White Sox starter Dylan Cease left the mound during a seven-run third inning Saturday, the sellout crowd of 37,854 at Guaranteed Rate Field began to grow restless.
But they knew it was still early, and the White Sox have been known to bounce back from big deficits on occasion.
It happened again Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. The White Sox fought back from a five-run deficit to take an 8-7 lead on Yasmani Grandal’s fifth-inning home run.
But the Red Sox tied it off Craig Kimbrel in the eighth and won 9-8 in 10 innings to knot the series at a game apiece.
“I’m just glad we were able to come back,” Grandal said. “That was huge.”
Despite the loss, the White Sox magic number to clinch the American League Central was reduced to 11 after the Cleveland Indians were no-hit by the Milwaukee Brewers. Lance Lynn returns from the injured list Sunday to start the series finale.
“Great effort on our part,” manager Tony La Russa said. “Heartbreaking, very tough to lose. Cease has been outstanding, so we picked him up. That’s what we do sometimes. He picks us up, we picked him up. We had a couple chances, couldn’t do it. ...
“When you work that hard, you want to get a win.”
After Cease put the White Sox in an early hole, Luis Robert’s bases-clearing double in the fourth pulled them within a run, and Yoan Moncada followed with a tying RBI double that turned the ballpark into a giant mosh pit.
After Grandal’s solo home run off Ryan Brasier in the fifth put the White Sox ahead 8-7, the Red Sox tied it in the eighth on Enrique Hernandez’s sacrifice fly off Kimbrel. They took a 9-8 lead in the 10th on Travis Shaw’s run-scoring single off Mike Wright, then stranded the tying run on third.
Grandal singled to start the 10th, putting the tying run on third with no outs. But reliever Josh Taylor struck out Leury Garcia and pinch hitter Danny Mendick. Andrew Vaughn was unavailable to play with “achy legs,” according to La Russa.
Hernandez nabbed Brian Goodwin’s grounder that seemed headed for right field and made a nice running throw to first to end it.
Robert went 4-for-5, lifting his average to .344. Since returning from the injured list Aug. 9, Robert has six home runs and 18 RBI in 26 games.
“What he’s done at the plate has been impressive as far as cutting down the chasing and really hitting strikes,” La Russa said. “Being more aggressive when he’s got the count in his favor and shortening up a little bit to put the ball in play. That’s veteran stuff. The fact he’s doing this early is very impressive.”
Cease, who had allowed three runs or fewer in his last 11 starts, experienced control problems from the outset. He walked two and struck out three in the first, recording his 200th strikeout. He got through the second unscathed before giving up seven runs on six hits and three walks in the third and was removed with two outs.
“It’s hard to be happy (about the 200 mark) when you have a game like today, for sure,” Cease said.
Cease walked in a run and served up a three-run homer to Shaw during the deluge. He called it “one of those games that just happens every once in a while” and said he hasn’t lost any confidence.
The White Sox bullpen came in and stopped the bleeding, including a dominant performance from Michael Kopech, who contributed 21/3 scoreless, striking out five without allowing a hit. Liam Hendriks walked off the mound with a slight limp after ending the ninth, but La Russa said the closer told pitching coach Ethan Katz he was OK.
Before the game, La Russa said he considering going to a six-man rotation after Monday’s off day, with Reynaldo Lopez getting a start.