After a long and disappointing off-season, White Sox baseball is back. And it seems as if the dissapointing off-season had carried into Opening Day. The Sox fell to the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Thursday Night.
Carlos Rodon was your 2019, White Sox Opening Day starter and he started the year on a positive note. Rodon retired nine of his first ten batters he faced, allowing no hits through the first three innings. Carlos looked solid the rest of the way but thanks to a few errors, a few extra outs had to be made.
The Royals took advantage of a lead-off triple from Adalberto Mondesi in the bottom of the fourth, where he would then score thanks to an Alex Gordon long sacrifice fly to make it a 1-0 ball game. Daniel Palka made a nice catch on the wall to rob Gordon of potential extra bases.
In the bottom of the fifth, Whit Merrifield put his speed on highlight as he stole second and third during an Alex Gordon at-bat. This was an area of struggle for White Sox catcher James McCann: he has finished in the top three in the Major Leagues in caught stealing the last four seasons.
Ex-Cub, Jorge Soler, had himself a day collecting two hits and two RBI’s including one scoring Gordon, after he stole second and third with ease. Soler’s raw power gives him the potential to be a valuable piece on this rebuilding Royals roster in the years to come.
Rodon’s Final Line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 101 Pitch Count.
Eloy Jimenez made his major league debut where it wasn’t what fans were necessarily hoping for. Eloy went 0-3 with a RBI thanks to getting hit by a pitch in the ninth inning rally. Kansas City attacked Jimenez with sliders all day that made him look lost at the plate. In his first at bat, it was a slider that made him check his swing a little too far to record his first strike out.
As for the rest of the offense, up until the ninth, it was as silent as it could get. Jose Abreu collected the teams first hit of the season in the top of the fourth. Yoan Moncada collected the second hit of the night in his promising debut at third base. Moncada looked comfortable on both sides of the diamond. He commanded the strike zone well throughout his four at-bats and got on twice. Yoan also made a spectacular play at third charging a ball to just beat Chris Owings at first.
As smooth as it gets. pic.twitter.com/Zz9d5KXIrE
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 28, 2019
It was a late rally in the ninth that drove all three of the White Sox runs in. Leury Garcia started things off with a lead-off single to keep the game alive. After walks were issued to Moncada and Yonder Alonso, Jimenez would get hit by a pitch to bring in his first career run. A Daniel Palka RBI groundout followed by a Tim Anderson RBI single would finish off the last two runs for our Sox.
Yolmer Sanchez had a chance to tie or even take the lead with two outs and the bases loaded but flew out to right field to end the game.
The White Sox will take on the Royals in Kansas City on Saturday, March 30. Reynaldo Lopez will be on the mound for a 1:15 CT first pitch.
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