Burger reps the 773 with first multihomer game

June 15th, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- ’s first career multihomer effort during an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday, played in front of Chris Tucker, Paula Abdul and 44,442 fans overall, totaled 773 feet in long ball power.

Considering that 773 number is a very familiar area code to those who live in the Windy City, Burger reaffirmed himself as a true Chicagoan.

“It’s incredible. I’m fortunate to get it,” said Burger, who now has 15 home runs and 35 RBIs on the season. “[First baseman Andrew Vaughn] is still going to give me some crap about it. Anybody can hit two. Why didn’t I hit three? 

“Definitely fortunate. Hopefully, [I’ll] keep that same swing going into tomorrow.”

Those two homers were enough to help the White Sox (30-39) end a three-game losing streak, including two losses suffered via blown leads in the ninth inning at home this past weekend against the Marlins. Burger’s first connection came off Clayton Kershaw to give the team a 1-0 lead in the second, while his second off Yency Almonte in the eighth -- following an double -- erased a two-run deficit and sparked a three-run victory rally.

There’s a special twist to this Burger power barrage. Some strong Dodger support exists in the family of his wife, Ashlyn.

“My wife’s family grew up Dodgers fans, so it’s a house split, for sure,” said a smiling Burger. “But her grandpa passed away a couple of years ago, and was the biggest Dodgers fan. Then [it meant] a little more hitting it off Kershaw and being here at Dodger Stadium.”

This victory showed great resilience from the White Sox, who watched this game go south in a hurry over the fifth and sixth innings. Starting pitcher seemed to be one pitch away from escaping a first-and-third, nobody-out situation in the fifth after retiring Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman on first-pitch foul popouts.

Clevinger got ahead on J.D. Martinez, 1-2, before throwing a 95.3 mph four-seamer that the Dodgers’ designated hitter fouled off. Clevinger shook his arm loose as he walked around the mound and eventually dropped in pain into a crouch. The right-hander was immediately replaced by reliever Gregory Santos, with the White Sox announcing the injury as right biceps soreness.

“Felt my biceps grab. Never really felt something like that. It grabbed pretty hard, kind of scared me,” Clevinger said. “Felt like a hamstring grabbing. Got back the training room, did some testing, [and] the testing went all right. I can flex, make a muscle with my biceps. I guess that’s the positive news out of all this. We’ll get an image and see what’s going on.”

“I saw him go down and I immediately went out there and called for the trainer,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “Pitchers just don’t go down like that.”

Santos struck out Martinez to end the fifth, but the Dodgers (38-30) put up four in the sixth during a rally enabled by physical and mental mistakes from Chicago, as well as four Dodgers singles and a walk. Grifol was ejected after Miguel Vargas was ruled safe at second when shortstop ’s flip didn’t get to second baseman in time on Austin Barnes’ slow roller. Grifol was not allowed to challenge, which is where the argument took root.

It would have been easy for the White Sox to pack things up at that point. Instead, Burger brought them even and ’s RBI single brought home the game-winner.

“Every single run we got today was needed,” Grifol said. “That was a gutsy, gutsy win. We were down 4-2 against a good team at this place. Came back and did a really nice job.”

“Burger, righting the ship, it was awesome to see the resilience,” Clevinger said. “Not a lot of quit in this room.”

The White Sox even worked through a 15-second power outage in the bottom of the ninth, leaving everyone sitting or standing in the dark. When the lights came back on, finished things off to keep the White Sox 5 1/2 games behind the Twins in the American League Central.

“I was at third base, and I started running off the field,” said Burger with a laugh. “It’s not that I’m scared of the dark, but I was definitely scared.”