White Sox can’t avoid another loss at the hands of a division rival as walks would doom the team early despite their multiple comeback efforts.
2019 hasn’t been a kind year to White Sox fans. The offseason that wasn’t has passed and now the start of the season has the team at an 0-2 start. After their 8-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium, the White Sox will enter Sunday looking to avoid a season-opening sweep.
Reynaldo Lopez had a shorter outing on Saturday than Carlos Rodon had on Opening Day. Pitching without his best stuff, Lopez managed to last just four innings while giving up four earned runs and allowing four walks.
The Royals, much like their win on Thursday, jumped out to an early 1-0 lead over the White Sox in the third inning. Adalberto Mondesi put Kansas City ahead 1-0 with an RBI double to score Billy Hamilton. The Royals would add to their lead when Ryan O’Hearn hit a two-run single to score Mondesi and Alex Gordon to make it a 3-0 game.
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Unfortunately for Lopez, the scoring for the Royals didn’t stop there. Jorge Soler hit what should have been a flyout to left field in the fourth inning with runners on base. However, poor communication between Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson led to the ball dropping between both players and scoring Gordon to extend the Royals lead to 4-0.
Despite the 4-0 deficit, the Sox were able to cut it close in the fifth inning. After singles by Yolmer Sanchez and Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu hit a three-run home run to put the Sox closer with a 4-3 deficit. Although things were looking better, the Sox couldn’t keep the game close.
Whit Merrifield extended the Royals lead to 6-3 with a two-run single that scored Martin Maldonado and Hamilton in the sixth inning. The Royals would see their lead climb to 8-3 when Soler hit a double to score Merrifield and Gordon.
The Sox offense which started Saturday off slowly again rallied much like they did on Opening Day but came up short. After the Sox cut their deficit to 8-4 in the seventh inning when Leury Garcia doubled to score Anderson, Moncada hit his first home run of the season to bring the Sox closer with an 8-6 deficit.
This would be as close as the Sox would get, however. Similar to Thursday when the Sox had the chance to take the lead in the ninth inning, Moncada would flyout to right field to end the game. With the loss, the Sox start the season with an 0-2 record and spoiled the game where Jimenez collected his first two major league hits.
The Sox will send Lucas Giolito to the mound on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals as they look to avoid the sweep. After the Sox conclude their series with the Royals, they will travel to Cleveland to begin a brief two-game series with the Indians at Progressive Field.