CHICAGO – For a team that’s done so much good over the past two months, the last six days have been, frankly, pretty bad.
The team dropped a game in Cincinnati, four in Cleveland, then were blown out by the crosstown Cubs to start the final series of the year. In that ten-run loss, the White Sox saw their manager suspended for a game and a reliever for three after MLB believes they threw at the Cubs’ catcher in retaliation for an earlier celebration.
Something had to give for the young group, and their frustrations finally boiled over to produce a very successful night on the south side.
After being shutout on Friday night, the White Sox offense rallied twice against the Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field and didn’t let up. They’d erase a three-run fourth inning deficit and turn it around for a 9-5 victory that does a few things for the club.
For one, it snaps their season-long six-game losing streak that has dampened some of the enthusiasm of the team’s great start. It also keeps them alive for an American League Central division championship heading into the final game of the regular season.
Trailing by a single game to the Twins, a Minnesota loss to Cincinnati on Sunday coupled with a White Sox win will give them the division championship. That would guaranteed home field for the team in their three-game Wild Card series next week.
Jose Abreu, who made a major case for Most Valuable Player in this contest, delivered the winning hit in the fourth inning. After the White Sox got two runs off Jon Lester to chase the starter from the game, the first baseman cleared the bases with a double to left field to make it 7-5.
That came after the Cubs had gone ahead in the third on a Kris Bryant Grand Slam homer to left field off starter Dane Dunning, but that’s all the north siders would get on the board this night. Five White Sox bullpen pitchers would combine to shutout the Cubs the rest of the way, allowing just two hits in the final six innings.
Meanwhile Yoan Moncada padded the lead in the sixth with his sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot, to complete the scoring on a night where the White Sox got their “Mojo” back, so to speak. The nine runs are the most they’ve scored since they got 14 against the Tigers on September 12th when they were in the midst of a six-game winning streak that included clinching a playoff berth.
Whether a new streak starts now is to be seen, but at least their out of their most recent funk, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.