Yoan Moncada tied it up. And then Joe Kelly gave it up by walking the bases full of Yankees.
And in a good first test against the best the American League has to offer, that is never a good idea.
The White Sox went down with a thud.
After Moncada forged a tie with his first homer, a three-run shot to center in the seventh, Kelly walked three straight Yankees after retiring the first two in the eighth, setting the stage for a seven-run blitz from baseball’s hottest team.
Aaron Judge legged out an infield single scoring two runs when first baseman Jose Abreu — battling an 0-for-17 slump — questioned the safe call. And then Josh Donaldson belted a three-run homer that about buried the Sox in a 15-7 defeat in the first of a four-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Donaldson’s homer was the Yankees’ fourth of the night. Stanton (six RBI) had a pair of two-run homers against Sox starter Dylan Cease Judge homered against reliever Ryan Burr. Stanton’s two-run single against lefty Tanner Banks – right-handers Kendall Graveman and Matt Foster were apparently not available – sent many of the 20,050 fans home.
In four innings, Cease was both good and bad. The 11th double-digit strikeout game of his career tied him with Sox great Billy Pierce for eighth on the franchise list. The 11 strikeouts also tied his career high.
But Cease was tagged for six runs and left trailing 6-4. AJ Pollock’s RBI double and Leury Garcia’s two-out, two-run double in the second and a run-scoring wild pitch by right-hander Luis Gil produced the Sox’ first four runs.
The Yankees 23-8 entering play are 16-2 in their last 18 games. The Sox (15-15) lost for the second time in nine games.
Extra day for Giolito; Cueto in wings
Lucas Giolito will start against the Royals Monday when the Sox open a five-game series and eight-game road trip concluding against the Yankees next weekend. Pushed ahead one day, Giolito (8-4, 3.43 in 17 starts vs. Royals) seems a good bet to go deep into a game that precedes a doubleheader Tuesday, La Russa said.
“Always a concern about the doubleheader on Tuesday,” La Russa said.
Cease is pegged for one of the games Tuesday with Johnny Cueto as one candidate to pitch the other. Cueto allowed two earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out six over 5 1/3 innings in his fourth start Wednesday for Triple-A Charlotte.
La Russa wouldn’t commit to Cueto, only saying “we’re expecting that sooner rather than later.” Until it’s official, “we can only just pencil him in,” La Russa said.
Vaughn homers twice, Lopez improving
Andrew Vaughn (right hand bruise) homered twice and walked twice in his second rehab game for Charlotte Thursday. La Russa said Vaughn, who played right field, could be back “as early as Kansas City,” then didn’t rule out Vaughn this weekend.
“We’re watching it closely and soon as he feels he’s 100 percent,” La Russa said.
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (low back) was “much better” Thursday but not yet available.
Guardians makeup game
Wednesday’s postponed game with the Cleveland Guardians will be made up as part of a split doubleheader July 23, the first Saturday after the All-Star break. The game was postponed due to numerous members of the Guardians coaching staff, including manager Terry Francona, testing positive for COVID-19.
The doubleheader start times are 12:10 p.m. (NBCSCH) and 6:15 p.m. (Fox)