Lynn's uneven start gives White Sox 'what we needed'

Bats break out for six-run third inning to back right-hander in finale win

June 30th, 2023

ANAHEIM -- allowed five runs in six innings during the White Sox 9-7 victory over the Angels on Thursday afternoon at Angel Stadium.

So how did manager Pedro Grifol describe his starter’s work in this series-splitting win?

“In my opinion, he was phenomenal,” Grifol said.

Grifol was not wrong.

Lynn gave up a home run to Mickey Moniak on the second pitch of the first inning, and Mike Moustakas and Hunter Renfroe touched him up for long balls in the second to produce a 4-1 lead for the Angels (44-39). Later that inning, Lynn faced a two-on, one-out situation before striking out American League All-Star starters Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.

After that rough beginning, Lynn (5-8) closed by retiring 15 of his last 19 batters.

“I threw 105 pitches, and I’d like three back,” Lynn said. “That’s the gist of it. It’s just one of those things going on right now. Offense picked me up, scored a bunch of runs, and we were able to win the game and split the series."

“For a pitcher to do what he did, it’s not about himself,” Grifol said. “It’s about the team. It’s what we needed.”

It didn’t take long for the White Sox offense to take control against Patrick Sandoval (4-7), putting together six singles around a walk and a hit-by-pitch to score six in the third. singled to open the rally and added a two-run knock to give Chicago a three-run lead, facing 23 total pitches hitting out of the leadoff spot.

, who was mired in an 0-for-24 slump and had two hits in his past 43 at-bats, delivered one of the third-inning singles. He also singled and scored in the first, helping him to snap out of this uncharacteristic drought.

“Just keep working and, you know, trying to get back to my normal self,” Anderson said. “I’m trying to have good at-bats.”

“They’re going to even out for him. He looks good at the plate, he’s taking pitches,” Grifol said. “It’s really important for Timmy to do what he did today.”

Every starter but Jake Burger reached base at least once, and Burger and Seby Zavala were the only starters to finish hitless. As a team, the White Sox struck out 16 times.

But after scoring three runs in the first two games against the Angels, they totaled 20 over the two victories.

“We went out and competed,” Anderson said. “Just keep the good energy going.”

“Hitting at this level is a grind,” Remillard said. “A lot of it is guys have put in the work, and they are developing plans and executing and giving our best punch every day. Some days that’s 10 runs, some days it’s grinding out your at-bats.”

Working six innings for Lynn was important with the White Sox having two bullpen days on the docket this weekend against the A’s, with Micheal Kopech’s Sunday start now listed as TBA. Lynn doesn’t need any extra incentive once he picks up the baseball, but Andrew Velasquez’s bunt single in the second, after the right-hander had already allowed four straight hits (including two homers), didn’t sit well with him.

“Grown man, swing the bat,” said a smiling Lynn, who recorded 24 swings and misses and seven strikeouts. “I didn’t really need reason, but that helps for sure.

“I’ll take it. Wasn’t what you want. You want a clean line, but we scored enough runs and I was able to go deep enough for the bullpen not to have to cover too many innings.”

This victory sends the White Sox to visit the MLB-worst A’s (21-62) with a 36-47 record. But Chicago is only 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota (40-42) and Cleveland (39-41), which are both two games under .500 atop the AL Central.

Not ideal, and certainly not phenomenal. But a chance to make the postseason still exists for the White Sox after beginning a crucial winning streak.

“Where we are at right now, we have to split or win series,” Lynn said. “We can’t lose them. So right now on this road trip, we are even, and we are going into Oakland with a chance to have a winning road trip.”

“Starting down 0-2 and leaving 2-2 is really good for us,” Grifol said.

“Yeah, we still got a shot. So it says a lot,” Anderson said. “We just have to keep working and keep pushing.”