Honestly, it’s impressive that the lineup the Yankees rolled out in their 4-3 series finale loss to the Twins was able to score three runs. Joking aside, the Yankees would’ve benefitted greatly from completing the four-game sweep, particularly on a day when many of their AL rivals had the night off. The White Sox were the only of the the AL playoff contenders (and it’s a stretch already to call them that) to also play last night, so tonight’s Rivalry Roundup will be a bit more long-form than usual. Think of it as a hybrid game recap for the South Siders.
Chicago White Sox 14 (70-68), Oakland Athletics 2 (50-88)
The White Sox were in control of this one from the word go, and it only got more humiliating for the Athletics as the night wore on. Old friend JP Sears was pitching for the Athletics and got his first true rude awakening in the big leagues. Elvis Andrus and Yoán Moncada led off the game with back-to-back home runs to set the tone for how the rest of the evening would go.
Chicago would add four more in the following frame, with Andrus driving in his second run of the night on a single after a leadoff single and double from Romy González and Seby Zavala respectively. Moncada provided the big blast in the frame with his second home run in as many innings, this time a three-run shot to give the visitors a 6-0 lead and knock Sears from the game having surrendered six runs on eight hits in two innings.
The South Siders were far from finished, though they’d spare the home team a quiet third before resuming their rampage. Eloy Jiménez lifted a two-run blast in the fourth off A’s reliever Zach Logue, who would be forced to endure an even more miserable outing than his teammate before him. The White Sox grew the lead to double-digits in the fifth on an Adam Engel RBI single and a Moncada RBI double for his fifth and final run batted in of the night.
The Sox seemed to have an affinity for scoring in even portions, tacking on their second four-run inning in the sixth. Jiménez walked to open the frame, advanced to third on an AJ Pollock double, and scored on an Andrew Vaughn single. This time it was González’s turn to provide the thunder in the frame, matching Moncada’s feat from the second with a three-run bomb off Logue to make it 10-0 White Sox and inflate Logue’s line to eight runs on ten hits in three innings.
AL Cy Young frontrunner Dylan Cease bolstered his case with another stellar outing yesterday night. He pitched six scoreless innings, surrendering three hits and two walks against nine strikeouts on 95 pitches, the slider accounting for five of those punchouts. The quality start lowers Cease’s season ERA to 2.06 while bringing him over the 200 strikeout threshold to 206, both marks second-best in MLB among qualified starters.
Vince Velasquez was feeling in a merciful mood and didn’t want the Oakland hitters to miss out on all the scoring fun. They broke the shutout in the eighth collecting a pair via run-scoring outs from Shea Langeliers and Sheldon Neuse. That was all the consolation the A’s would manage as they fell by a final score of 14-2. With the win, the White Sox remain level with the Twins after their win over the Yankees. The two teams sit a game and a half back of the Guardians for the AL Central lead — likely the only path to the playoffs for any team from that division given the superior records of the AL Wild Card challengers.