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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Daryl Van Schouwen

White Sox pound Athletics from the get-go, slug 5 homers in 14-2 win

Yoán Moncada celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (AP) (Yoan Moncada homered in each of his first two times up.)

OAKLAND, Calif. — Elvis Andrus hit the second pitch of the game for a home run. Yoan Moncada followed him with another.

The White Sox came out swinging Thursday in the land of the old Swingin’ A’s in the opener of a four-game series against the Athletics, and they didn’t stop there in a 14-2 victory.

Moncada, who tied a career high with five hits, homered again in a four-run second, and Eloy Jimenez slammed his 11th homer in the fourth, giving the Sox their first four-homer game of the season. Romy Gonzalez homered in the sixth for his fourth hit and the Sox’ fifth homer, making it 14-0.

Moncada singled, doubled and singled in his next five at-bats, giving him five hits and five RBI in six innings. The five hits tied a career high. He flied out against A’s infielder Sheldon Neuse in the ninth.

Sox Cy Young candidate Dylan Cease pitched six scoreless innings and notched 200 strikeouts for the second time in his career. Cease (14-6) struck out nine and walked two while allowing three hits. He lowered his ERA to 2.06.

“We know every game, every inning, every pitch matters right now,” Cease said. “To go out and make a statement both on the pitching end and offensive side is important.”

Moncada’s first four hits came against left-handers JP Sears and Zach Logue. He was hitting .177 with two home runs and only three multi-hit efforts over 34 games since the All-Star break.

“It feels good. It reinforces your confidence,” Moncada said. “It has been a difficult season but it’s good to perform in this final stretch.”

Andrus and Moncada marked the seventh time Sox batters opened a game with back to back homers. It was the first time since Tim Anderson and Moncada on Aug. 17, 2020 at Detroit.

Andrus’ homer traveled 444 feet, the second longest of his career in the Statcast era (since 2015). He had two hits, three runs scored and two RBI. The A’s, who own the worst record in the AL (50-88) released Andrus before he signed with the Sox on Aug. 19.

Riding some momentum after taking two of three from the Mariners at Seattle this week and winning for the seventh time in nine games, the Sox got with 1 12 games of the idle first-place Guardians in American League Central. The Twins beat the Yankees and are also 1 12 games out of first.

The Sox out-hit the A’s 21-6.

Cease’s milestone

Cease became the seventh pitcher in Sox history with multiple 200 strikeout seasons, joining Ed Walsh (five) Chris Sale (four), Lucas Gioltio (two), Javier Vázquez (two), Tom Bradley (two) and Gary Peters (two).

It was Cease’s first start since coming one out away from throwing a no-hitter against the Twins Saturday. He was coming off career highs in each of his last two starts with eight innings against the Diamondbacks and his complete-game shutout against the Twins.

Robert still out

Luis Robert was available only to pinch run or possibly defense as he deals with soreness in his left wrist.

“We’re going to see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll go from there,” acting manager Miguel Cairo said, repeating the standard take on Robert’s wrist.

“We hope so,” Cairo said of Robert possibly playing in the series. “Let’s see how he feels [Friday]. Today he was feeling better. Just got to see.”

Hendriks, Diekman nominated for Clemente Award

Sox pitchers Jake Diekman (Gut It Out Foundation) and Liam Hendriks (South Slydah Society) were named 2022 club nominees for the Roberto Clemente Award, the annual recognition of the major league player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

This and that

Catcher Seby Zavala (2-for-4, double, walk) has started 10 of the Sox’ last 17 games and is batting .313 with 10 walks over his last 18 games.

*Five home runs matched the Sox’ most ever at the Coliseum. Harold Baines, Wayne Nordhagen, Chet Lemon and Carlton Fisk (two) did it on Sept. 27, 1981.

*The Sox improved to 12-21 against the A’s, including 4-12 at the Coliseum, since the start of the 2017 season.

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