It was a steamy 96 degrees at first pitch on Tuesday evening, but the White Sox bats really heated up late in the evening. Trailing the Blue Jays 4-2, and down to their final out, the Sox rallied to tie the game on a walk and three consecutive hits. For a moment it looked like A.J. Pollock had the game-winning hit, but his liner to center stayed up just long enough for Bradley Zimmer to make a diving catch and send the game to extras. Then, after trading runs with the Blue Jays in the 10th and the 11th, Josh Harrison finally sent the fans home happy with a walkoff single in the 12th for a 7-6 victory.
Earlier in the day, when the sun was still beaming, Dylan Cease found a way to cool the Blue Jays’ bat. In fact, he nearly iced them out completely. But a rising pitch count forced Cease out of the game after six innings, despite allowing only one hit. When he was gone, the Blue Jays were able to make contact against the bullpen to pull ahead, and saddled Cease with a no decision in the process. Tomorrow, Lucas Giolito will try to outdo him as the Sox try to sweep the series.
DYLAN CEASE’S SLIDER CLIPS BLUE JAYS’ WINGS
There are some nights when a guy has such filthy stuff, no batter can come close to hitting him. This was one of those nights for Dylan Cease. The pitch that got him there was the slider. Cease started the game with five strikeouts, all swinging, and all on that slider. After that he retired the next five batters, and got two more strikeouts, again, all on sliders. Cease first ran into trouble in the fourth inning, when he walked back-to-back batters, but he got out of the jam with a little help from his friends. First, Seby Zavala caught Bo Bichette trying to steal third. Then, Danny Mendick made a charging, bare-handed grab on a slow bouncer from Alejandro Kirk, and fired to first to retire Kirk and keep Cease’s no-hit bid alive. His chance at history came to an end two innings later, though, on another slow roller. This time, Tim Anderson wasn’t able to corral the ball and throw to first in time, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. reached on a meek infield single. In the end, Cease made it through six innings, only gave up the one hit, and struck out 11 . And you guessed it, they all came on sliders.
BAD OUTS ON THE BASEPATHS
For the second night in a row, baserunning errors have cost the White Sox runs. And for the second night in a row, that included Tim Anderson being picked off of first base. On Tuesday, Anderson was back-picked by catcher Alejandro Kirk in the fifth inning after he took a big secondary lead. If he had still been on the basepaths, there’s a decent chance he would’ve scored on Luis Robert’s double, two batters later. Instead, Robert had to settle for one RBI for driving in Danny Mendick. Meanwhile, Mendick committed a baserunning error of his own when he charged home from third base on a grounder hit to the left side of the infield. Mendick was easily tagged out at the plate for the first out of the inning. If either of those runs scored, the White Sox would’ve won in regulation.
DAVIS MARTIN GOES FROM SPOT STARTER TO HIGH-LEVERAGE RELIEVER
Rookie Davis Martin has impressed Tony La Russa this season with what he called “big league cool.” For the most part, La Russa has deployed Martin as a starter, or as a pitcher to eat the middle innings after an opener has started the game. But with Lance Lynn back in action, and Johnny Cueto taking Dallas Keuchel’s spot in the rotation, the White Sox haven’t needed Martin to fill that same role. So La Russa put Martin’s cool to the test by putting him in to pitch the eighth inning to protect a one run lead. The box score will say Martin blew the lead, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. After walking the leadoff batter, Martin surrendered two infield singles and a bloop just over the head of Tim Anderson, and all of a sudden the score was 3-2. The Blue Jays managed to score another run off of José Ruiz, which was charged to Martin, but the White Sox were able to rally late to bail him out.