Korey Lee hit his first major league home run, Yoan Moncada and Andrew Vaughn went deep, Dylan Cease recorded seven strikeouts and the White Sox held a 6-0 lead through three innings. Despite all the positives early on, Tuesday’s game against the Royals was one to forget.
After Lee’s home run in the second inning, the White Sox had an 89.4 percent win probability. After nine innings the White Sox were on the wrong end of a 7-6 score on a balk-off. Chalk it up as another embarrassing loss in a season that has far too many of them.
Credit the White Sox for finding new and creative ways to lose games. Just a day removed from being on the wrong end of a 12-1 beatdown against a Royals team that has the second-worst record in the American League the White Sox threw another game away in spectacular fashion.
Gregory Santos entered the game in the ninth inning to protect a one-run lead. The leadoff man, Nick Loftin, reached on a Tim Anderson throwing error. Then Micheal Massey singled to move Loftin into scoring position. Two batters later Bobby Witt Jr. tied the game on a double while simultaneously moving the winning run 90 feet from home.
Santos managed to get the second out of the inning so White Sox manager Pedro Grifol decided to load the bases so the White Sox could have a force at any base. But with the pitch clock winding down Santos was forced to rush his first pitch to Edward Olivares. In the process, the White Sox closer never came set.
The balk call dropped the White Sox to 33 games under .500 and marked their fifth consecutive loss.
“He rushed it,” Grifol said after the game. “Was down to, like, one second. Clearly a balk.”
The White Sox manager believes it was a situation that could have easily been avoided.
“Step off,” Grifol said when asked what the right move was in that spot. “You’ve got two disengagements per hitter. Dosn’t matter where the runners are. He just forgot.”
The balk overshadowed another lousy effort from the White Sox number-one starter Dylan Cease. Despite getting spotted an early 6-0 lead Cease allowed five runs, four of which were earned, in 5.1 innings.
“It wasn’t great,” Cease said. “Our offense did a really good job early and gave me a cushion.”
The loss ruined a memorable day for Korey Lee. Lee was acquired at the trade deadline for Kendall Graveman and was recalled to the big leagues on August 24th. Since then lee has struggled to find a rhythm offensively going just 1 for 25 with the White Sox heading into Tuesday’s game.
But the 25-year-old catcher was able to take Royals starter Brady Singer deep in the second inning on a ball that left his bat at 105.2 mph. Lee followed that up with a base hit in the third inning.
“It’s a good feeling but at the end of the day we came up short, and that’s what is on my mind more.