CHICAGO – It was just nice to see the sun setting on a clear night with the lights taking effect at a baseball stadium this summer.
There were times that it appeared that might not happen, and frankly, no one knows just how many contests will be played in 2020. But Sunday night there was baseball in Chicago, and it featured both teams on a clear night at Wrigley Field.
Yet the one thing that was lighting things up besides the lights on the roof was the White Sox offense, which showed the promise that so many had been hoping for since last winter.
The team’s lineup awoke in the fifth inning against the Cubs at the Friendly Confines on Sunday evening, striking for six runs to pace a 7-3 win. They had 12 hits on the evening, starting their effort against Cubs opening day starter Kyle Hendricks before finding success again the bullpen.
Jason Kipnis homered in the first inning and Nico Hoerner had a sacrifice fly in the second, but then it was the White Sox offense that took over.
Kyle Hendricks, who had four shutout innings under his belt, struggled after getting the first out in the fifth. Adam Engel homered, then allowed hits to Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu around an out by Eloy Jimenez.
Jharel Cotton relieved Hendricks and the White Sox had his number. Yasmani Grandal double to right to bring in two runs and give the visitors the lead, then Edwin Encarnacion did the same to left to make it 4-2.
Luis Robert, who had two homers in an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, hit a ball into the ivy in center for a ground rule double to bring in another run. Leury Garcia completed the offensive flurry with a fourth-straight hit, this time a triple, to bring home the sixth and final run of the frame.
Both teams would add another run to complete a great evening that was four months and eight days in the making. Neither team had played against another opponent since March 11th, one day before the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The teams meet again on Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field for the second of three exhibition games this week before the regular season for both teams begins on Friday at home. Results for either side won’t count till then, and Sunday’s won’t either, but the White Sox offense certainly gives fans some hope that their long-building hype could come to fruition over the next two months.