After ending a three-game losing streak, the Chicago White Sox hope to resume their march toward an American League Central title Wednesday night by taking command of their four-game series with the host Toronto Blue Jays.
The White Sox matched their season best with 18 hits Tuesday night in a 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays to earn a split of the first two games.
Jose Abreu’s three-run homer in the first inning was the difference, and Liam Hendriks pitched a tense 1 2/3 innings to earn his 29th save.
The White Sox extended their lead in the Central to 10 games over the Cleveland Indians. The Blue Jays have lost eight of their last 11 games as they scramble to keep their wild-card hopes alive.
The Blue Jays did come up with a rarity when they had assists from all three outfield positions — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left, Josh Palacios in center and Teoscar Hernández in right — on Tuesday.
It was the second time in franchise history that they have accomplished the feat. It also happened on July 5, 1995, when Joe Carter, Devon White and Shawn Green each recorded assists.
The Blue Jays will start left-hander Robbie Ray (9-5, 2.79 ERA) on Wednesday.
Ray took a no-decision in his only career start against the White Sox on June 8, allowing one run in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits and struck out a season-best 13.
The White Sox will start right-hander Lucas Giolito (9-9, 3.77).He is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in three career starts against the Blue Jays. In his only start at the Rogers Centre, which came on May 12, 2019, he picked up a win when he allowed one earned run and struck out eight in seven innings.
The White Sox could have shortstop and leadoff hitter Tim Anderson back in the lineup on Wednesday. He has missed four straight games with sore legs.
“That’s the goal,” Anderson said. “But at the end of the day, it’s not my call. I can only tell them how I’m feeling and see what they say. That’s definitely my goal, to get back in that lineup (Wednesday).”
The White Sox had Leury Garcia back in the lineup Tuesday. He was 2-for-5 and played second base. He had been out with a concussion suffered on Aug. 12. The White Sox optioned right-hander Ryan Burr to Triple-A Charlotte.
Meanwhile, some of the young Blue Jays stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are playing a full 162-game major league schedule for the first time. That could be a factor for the team down the stretch and be a part of why they are currently struggling.
“(The grind is) something that you have to learn, and everybody’s different,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Some people might not want to hit (batting practice) because they feel that they don’t need any more, and some people, they do. They have to learn that on their own, and that’s the beauty of watching your guys develop and see how they do it.”
White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez extended his hitting streak to 13 games by going 2-for-5 on Tuesday. It ties the longest hitting streak of his career. Chicago third baseman Yoan Moncada was 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
–Field Level Media