The White Sox’ Lance Lynn grew more dominant as the game unfolded, but Anthony Castro, Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Romano and Tim Mayza kept the Chicago bats quiet as Jays rallied late to keep pace in the AL East.
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The Blue Jays knew coming into the night that hits and runs would be scarce with Lance Lynn taking the mound. The Sox right hander had won 5 of his previous 6 starts, had allowed only 1 earned run over his last 4 home starts, and had posted a 0.79 ERA during that time. Lynn left no doubt in the Toronto dugout that the White Sox made the right decision in acquiring him from the Rangers in the off season.
The White Sox lineup posted Lynn to an early lead in the bottom of the first. Designated hitter Jake Lamb tapped a ball in front of the plate, which Alek Manoah pounced on and fired to first. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.dropped the shin-high throw and Lamb was on due to the error. Reese McGuire muffed catching a sharp breaking slider, advancing Lamb into scoring position. Yoan Moncada followed with a grounder past Bo Bichette at short, scoring Lamb for game’s first run. Joe Panik made a leaping grab of a Jose Abreu line drive to avoid further damage against Manoah.
Randall Grichuk immediately got the run back in the top of the second. Hunting a fastball on a 2-0 count, Grichuk sent it a dozen rows back into the left field bleachers.
Lynn struggled with his command early, but settled in after the blast by Grichuk to keep the Jays bats off balance. He would pitch 7 dominant innings, scattering 4 hits and growing more invincible as the innings piled up. Manoah, making his 3rd major league start, did have problems finding the strike zone at times. But the rookie masterfully mixed in a dancing slider with his rising 4 seam fastball and sinking 2 seamer to keep Chicago off the scoreboard. A fine outfield assist from Lourdes Gurriel Jr.also played a role in the fourth. After Grandal walked and had advanced on a groundout to Semien, Moncado singled to Gurriel, who fired a one-bounce throw to McGuire that just nipped Grandal trying to score. The White Sox challenged the out call, but the video review did not find enough evidence to overturn the call.
Manoah was not as fortunate in the fifth. Leury Garcia walked and when Manoah fell behind 2-0 to Nick Madrigal, White Sox manager Tony LaRussa put on the hit and run. That decision paid immediate dividends when Madrigal drilled the next pitch into the left-centerfield gap to plate Garcia. A tiring Manoah could not put away Tim Anderson, who lifted a sacrifice fly to right. Pete Walker made a mound visit to to encourage his young starter, who struck out Lamb on a foul tip and got Moncada to pop out to Bichette.
Aaron Bummer came in to relieve Lynn in the 8th. He struck out rookie Riley Adams, but the dropped third strike allowed him to beat the throw to first base. Marcus Semien legged out an infield single which was followed by an opposite field hit by Bichette to load the bases. This brought MVP candidate Vladimir Gueerero Jr to the plate and Vladdy worked an RBI walk that scored Adams. Teoscar Hernandez, who hadn’t had a solid at bat all series, grounded to Tim Anderson for what appeared to be an inning-ending double play. However Anderson’s throw sailed into the Toronto dugout, allowing Semien and Bichette to score the 3rd and 4th runs of the game for Toronto.
Jordan Romano came in to work the 8th and proceeded to to walk Anderson on 5 pitches. Timing Romano’s knee bend windup, the Sox shortstop stole 2nd and 3rd base to put himself in scoring position. Jays manager chose to play the infield back, but Lamb flied out to left and Moncada struck out swinging. Romano elected to pitch to the reigning MVP Jose Abreu, who grounded off his glove to Semien for a 1-6-4 putout to leave Anderson stranded.
The Blue Jays padded their lead to lead off the ninth inning. Joe Panik hit a sharp line drive double to right center and was lifted for pinch runner Santiago Espinal. Gurriel struck out swinging before Rowdy Tellez produced an RBI hit to plate Espinal. Another sure doubleplay ball was derailed by an errant Chicago throw that allowed Tellez to close out the scoring 6-2. Lefthander Tim Mayza continued his recent effectiveness to finish off the White Sox.
Rubber game of the series will be Thursday night at 8:10 ET. Jays ace Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-3) will match up against Chicago lefty Dallas Keuchel (4-1).
DID YOU NOTICE….
Alek Manoah (9th overall selection) and Andrew Vaughn (3th overall pick) re the first two members of the 2019 Amateur Draft class to make their major league debuts.
White Sox outstanding color commentator Steve Stone made an interesting observation about Manoah : ” Manoah falls off to the first base side of the mound on many of his pitches. Which will ultimately lead to control issues if left unchecked.” Stone was glowing in his praise of the Toronto rookie, declaring “Alek Manoah is going to become a successful major league pitcher. . .because he has command of 3 pitches. A two seam fastball that rises and tempts high in the zone, a sinking 2 seamer that is thrown from same arm angle. And both set up a slider that breaks sharp and hard at the edges of the strike zone.”
Randal Grichuk continues to prove you cannot throw him a fastball behind in the count. Lance Lynn learned his lesson when Grichuk sent a 96 MPH fastball 470 feet.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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