HOUSTON — The effort featured a strong starting pitching performance, a young player with some late heroics, and a triumph for a new manager in Major League Baseball.
There was a lot to like about the White Sox first of 162 games in the 2023 season as they made some history while also ending a few streaks as well against the Astros in Houston.
Opening Day victory drought ends
Andrew Vaughn’s two-run double in the ninth inning broke a 1-1 tie and helped the White Sox to a 3-2 victory at Minute Maid Park.
It snapped the team’s four-game losing streak on Opening Day as the club won their first game for the first time since 2018 when they beat the Royals in Kansas City 14-8.
For their opponents, it denied some history, as the Astros’ ten-game winning streak on Opening Day was snapped. They had a chance to hold the major league record in that category, but now they remain tied with the Boston Beaneaters for the MLB record, which they set from 1887-1896.
No wait for win No. 1
Pedro Grifol picked up his first win as a manager in the MLB in his first game with the White Sox, and it’s been a while since that’s happened.
The last time a new dugout leader of the club won their opening game was March 31, 1998. That’s when Jerry Manuel started off his tenure with the White Sox with a 9-2 win over the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
Ozzie Guillen (2004), Robin Ventura (2012), Rick Renteria (2017), and Tony La Russa (2021) all lost on Opening Day in their first season.
Starting where he left off in 2022
Dylan Cease was a Cy Young Award finalist in the American League in 2022 and he once again looked the part to start his fifth MLB season.
The starting pitcher also tied a White Sox record in his first outing of 2023.
Cease struck out ten batters in 6 1/3 innings against the Astros on Thursday, which ties for the most on Opening Day in franchise history. He tied Jack McDowell, who also had ten strikeouts on April 8, 1991 against the Orioles in Baltimore in a 9-1 season-opening win.