After losing all three games in their first series against the Toronto Blue Jays this season, the Chicago White Sox are off to a good start in the rematch.
The White Sox held off the visiting Blue Jays 8-7 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series. Game 2 will be Tuesday night.
The Jays swept a three-game series between the teams in Toronto from May 31-June 2.
It did not take long for White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson to make his presence felt Monday after being activated from the injured list. He led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and scored on Andrew Vaughn’s double.
“He’s the spark plug of all spark plugs,” Vaughn said of Anderson. “The man can flat-out hit, and he gets on base dang near all the time.”
Anderson said, “I was ready to attack.”
Anderson suffered a groin injury on May 29 that landed him on the IL, and he did not play in the series in Toronto. Monday was his first game since he got hurt.
The veteran shortstop finished 2-for-5, and Vaughn had four hits, including a solo home run, as Chicago held on after taking an 8-2 lead after five innings.
Chicago’s Danny Mendick, who hit .290 (20-for-69) with two homers and 11 RBIs in 18 games while filling in for Anderson at shortstop, did not play on Monday with Anderson back and Josh Harrison playing second base. Harrison made a couple of superb defensive plays in the series-opening win and hit a two-run home run.
Mendick might play second base on Tuesday, according to White Sox manager Tony La Russa. He also could spell Anderson, who will be monitored.
“We’re all going to watch Tim carefully in the games with the heat,” La Russa said. “Definitely going to not disregard what Danny did.”
Right-hander Kevin Gausman (5-6, 3.21 ERA) will start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday, with right-hander Dylan Cease (5-3, 2.91) going for the White Sox.
Gausman allowed three runs on six hits over five innings to earn a win against the White Sox on May 31. In five career games (three starts) against Chicago, he is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA.
Cease is scheduled to make his second career start against the Blue Jays. He earned a win last Aug. 24 at Toronto when he allowed one run in seven innings.
The Blue Jays were hoping to build on a 10-9 comeback victory over the visiting New York Yankees on Sunday that salvaged the finale of a three-game series. They overcame an 8-3 deficit to complete a 3-4 homestand.
The Yankees won the opener in Toronto 12-3 and took the second game 4-0.
“We kind of got punched in our mouth in the first game,” Gausman said. “The way we responded after the first game was really good. Obviously, we lost the second game, but we had way more fight in us than the night before.
“To get down on Sunday like we did and then to come back, that’s something that’s perfect going into this series (in Chicago) and a long road trip. You use that momentum.”
The Blue Jays also felt it was important to earn the win against the Yankees, who are running away with the American League East.
“To do it against that team, obviously they’re playing really good,” Gausman said. “It’s kind of nice to shove it in their face a little bit.”
The White Sox put third baseman Yoan Moncada (strained right hamstring) on the IL on Monday, clearing a roster spot for Anderson’s return.
–Field Level Media