CHICAGO – As the night began to turn gloomy, with showers falling around Guaranteed Rate Field, so did the prospects for the home team on Saturday night.
After an outstanding start from Dallas Keuchel, where he pitched six scoreless innings, then a shutout frame from Codi Heuer & Aaron Bummer each, the White Sox took a 1-0 lead into the ninth.
A day removed from a one-run, five strikeout 1 2/3 innings outing in a win over the Rangers, Liam Hendriks had a shot at a second-straight save.
Unfortunately, Willie Calhoun spoiled that ending, smacking a solo homer with one out to tie the game. But after Hendriks’ second blown save of the season, Nick Madrigal was there to pick him up.
The second-year second baseman came through in the bottom half of the ninth, lofting a hit to right field to bring home Luis Robert for the winning run in a 2-1 walk-off victory.
It was Madrigal’s first hit of the night in his fourth plate appearance and it gave the White Sox a third-straight victory. For the first time all season, Tony La Russa’s team sits two games above .500 at 11-9.
Luis Robert was the catalyst for the moment, getting on base with an infield single then going to second on a sacrifice by Yasmani Grandal. After Yermin Mercedes was intentionally walked and Billy Hamilton struck out, Madrigal took an 0-2 pitch over the head of Joey Gallo in left for the game-winner.
Before that hit, the White Sox only got on the board thanks to a Kyle Gibson wild pitch in the sixth that allowed Yoan Moncada to score. The Rangers had an answer three innings later, but Madrigal would come through to bail out the White Sox as the rain started to fall.
“It’s huge,” said Madrigal of the White Sox pulling out the win. “Especially with that game. It was a close game the entire time. The pitching staff did a great job holding them to one run. For us to come through for them, it was huge.
“Hopefully that gives us a spark moving into the next couple of games.”
Nick certainly did on Saturday, just in time to save his team.