Sox endure a painful night in Cincinnati in more ways that one

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 02: Scooter Gennett #3 of the Cincinnati Reds slides at home plate ahead of the tag by Omar Narvaez #38 of the Chicago White Sox to score a run in the eighth inning at Great American Ball Park on July 2, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 5-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI – This looked for a while like a positive night on a number of fronts for the White Sox as they made their trip a few hours South from the Windy City.

For one, Jose Abreu continued to lead the American League All-Star voting that was released earlier on Monday afternoon, maintaining a nearly two-million vote lead of Yuli Gurriel of the Astros. Should he hold on the next few days, he’ll be the first White Sox player to be voted to the starting lineup by the fans since Frank Thomas in 1996.

That night, the White Sox rallied from an early deficit against the Reds to take a 3-1 lead into the 8th inning after an Avisail Garcia homer. But neither party that had great moments on Monday would finish in a great mood.

Abreu was forced to leave the game in the seventh after fouling a pitch off his left ankle, which bruised it and has the left the potential All-Star on the “Day-to-Day” list. Meanwhile that two-run lead disappeared in a nightmare bottom of the eighth inning, as the Reds got four runs to steal a 5-3 victory from right out under the White Sox.

What’s tough for Rick Renteria is that a majority of damage was done after two outs in the inning with runners on second and third. Jose Peraza drew the walk off Chris Volstad, but it appeared the White Sox would have a shot to get out of it when Adam Duvall hit a grounder to Matt Davidson, who replaced Abreu at first. He ran towards first for the out, believing that he’d made one out, then threw home in an attempt to get Scooter Gennett at home.

Not only was that late, but replays showed that Davidson never touched first, keeping the bases loaded. Billy Hamilton tied the game with a sacrifice fly after that, with pinch hitter Alex Blandino giving the Reds the lead with a two-run double.

It put a bad end to the day that started with so much promise, but ended up painful both literally and figuratively.