White Sox cool off Yankees with walk-off victory

Luis Robert celebrates after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning Saturday night.

Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Left-hander Dallas Keuchel’s second consecutive impressive start Saturday night validated the trust the White Sox have shown in him after a wobbly three-game stretch.

The offense, meanwhile, continues to rely on the likes of Tim Anderson, Luis Robert and Gavin Sheets while waiting for Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal to regain a semblance of their past production.

Moncada stepped up with a 424-foot home run off left-hander Jordan Montgomery in the fourth inning, and his walk in the ninth set the stage for a dramatic 3-2 victory that snapped the Yankees’ five-game winning streak.

Anderson drew a walk off Aroldis Chapman and advanced on the walk by Moncada.

Robert followed with a single to right past a diving first baseman Anthony Rizzo to ignite a wild celebration.

Earlier, the lack of offense caught up to the Sox in the top of the ninth inning against closer Liam Hendricks, who was summoned initially to get a five-out save.

After missing the first five weeks because of a right oblique strain, the switch-hitting Moncada is getting closer to full strength, as evidenced by his second home run in three games.

But until Robert’s hit, that was the extent of the Sox’s offense, which was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-18 in that category over its last two games until his game-winning hit.

Despite Keuchel’s sterling five-inning effort, there was no margin for error. That was evident in the eighth inning when three consecutive well-placed singles off Joe Kelly cut the lead in half and caused manager Tony La Russa to summon Hendricks with the tying and winning runs on base.

Hendriks struck out Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres to end the threat, but the Yankees quickly tied the game in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Higashioka.

After allowing 25 runs in its last two losses, Keuchel provided instant relief.

“We’re a team, and everybody covers for everybody else,’ La Russa said before the game. “Like (Friday), there was late scoring, just like the first game when we give up 15 runs. That’s an ugly number, but the answer is, and it’s the way it’s supposed to be, you don’t disrespect.

“The only time you have a problem is if you don’t think a pitcher is trying or a hitter is trying, and you handle that like you would in a family. If a son or daughter shows up late, you don’t call the other person and (tell them). You handle it internally. We haven’t begun to be close to that because guys are trying.”

Abreu snapped an 0-for-21 slump with a single but popped to second with runners on first and third to end the seventh. Grandal went hitless in four at-bats and 1 for his last 15. 

Anderson and Robert provided instant support for Keuchel in the first with singles that accounted for the first run. Robert’s RBI single off Montgomery capped a 10-pitch at-bat and extended his hitting streak to 12 games, but that was the extent of the Sox’s clutch hitting. Even Anderson grounded into a double play with runners at first and second to end the fourth.

Fortunately for the Sox, Keuchel has allowed two runs over his last 11 innings and recently has shown a knack for working out of jams. He stranded Giancarlo Stanton after allowing a leadoff double in the second.

Keuchel issued a pair of two-out walks to DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge to load the bases in the fifth, but he induced Rizzo to ground to second to end the threat.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.