CHICAGO -- Eight runs scored by the Cubs over the last three innings Wednesday night at Wrigley Field gave the North Siders their first victory in three games against the White Sox this season.But in the 8-1 defeat, Anthony Ranaudo's White Sox debut stood as one of night's main stories.Ranaudo
CHICAGO -- Eight runs scored by the Cubs over the last three innings Wednesday night at Wrigley Field gave the North Siders their first victory in three games against the White Sox this season.
But in the 8-1 defeat, Anthony Ranaudo's White Sox debut stood as one of night's main stories.
Ranaudo hurled 5 1/3 no-hit innings before Kris Bryant broke up the gem with a long home run to left in the sixth. That blast tied the game at 1, a lead the White Sox grabbed when the right-handed-hitting Ranaudo homered to right-center leading off the fifth.
That's right, the pitcher who previously was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts as a Major League hitter connected on an 0-1 pitch for the lone White Sox run scored off Jason Hammel. Ranaudo became the first White Sox pitcher to homer against the Cubs in Interleague Play and became the first American League hurler to homer in 2016.
Mark Buehrle was the last White Sox pitcher to go deep on June 14, 2009, in Milwaukee. It was an amazing moment tempered a bit by the Cubs rallying to hand Ranaudo a loss.
"Yeah, that was definitely cool, definitely something I'll remember the rest of my life," Ranaudo said. "The way the game kind of turned, that kind of took a bad turn for us. Definitely a great experience. The atmosphere was electric, and I thought we played really well for most of the game."
"He had it going tonight. The kid was fantastic," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Not only pitching, but swinging the bat for us, too, so a good night for him. Really the only blips on it are a couple of home runs. It's a tough way to go knowing that he pitched that well, but there are some dangerous bats over there, and he found a couple of them."
Through 5 1/3 innings, fly balls from Jason Heyward and Javier Báez were the only two hard-hit balls against Ranaudo. He walked two in the first, but settled down quickly to retire Miguel Montero on a ground ball to second to end the frame.
Baez got Ranaudo with two outs in the seventh, after Heyward drew a two-out walk. He crushed a 3-2 curveball that was a little bit of a hanger, and a pitch that Ranaudo wished he would have bounced or thrown below the strike zone. As his last hitter of the night, Ranaudo would have preferred the walk and given Zach Duke a chance to escape.
Ventura could have pulled Ranaudo after six one-hit innings, but he wanted to give him a chance to get through the seventh. It would have been a perfect mound finish to go with his offensive heroics.
"I thought it was a double at first. I thought it got stuck in the ivy and I kind of pulled up at second base," said Ranaudo, who had to go back to high school for his last home run. "I looked back at home and realized it was a home run, from the way everybody was reacting and stuff, and I had to finish out the jog. It took me a little longer than I wanted, but it was a good experience."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.