White Sox erupt for biggest inning since 2007

Alberto, Sheets homer during 11-run 2nd in offensive outburst vs. Reds

May 7th, 2023

CINCINNATI -- The White Sox had been struggling with men on base lately, but they quickly changed that narrative Sunday with an 11-run outburst in the second inning of a 17-4 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Chicago sent 14 batters to the plate for what became its highest-scoring frame since Aug. 17, 2007 (at Kansas City, 11 runs) -- and its highest-scoring second inning in franchise history.

“It feels good,” said third baseman , who led the team with four hits and had a career-high four RBIs. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, and everything is paying off now. We all feel better and hopefully it continues like that. We had a good plan, tried to hit good pitches and put on the best swings we can.”

The offensive eruption could hardly have come at a better time, especially on the heels of losing cleanup hitter , who is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing an appendectomy on Saturday.

Coming into the rubber match of the series, Chicago was last in the Majors dating back to April 22 with a .176 batting average with runners in scoring position. That was a major issue on Saturday, when the Sox went 1-for-8 with runners on in a two-run loss.

Luis Robert Jr. started the inning with a walk and came around to score on Alberto’s towering, 378-foot home run to left field, his second in as many days. Yasmani Grandal and Elvis Andrus singled to right field, but the bottom of the order produced two outs -- which might have signaled the end of the rally in days past.

But the next seven White Sox reached base, highlighted by Andrew Benintendi’s bases-loaded single, Andrew Vaughn’s triple to right, and ’ three-run, 410-foot dinger to right field.

“The at-bats with runners in scoring position were really good,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “Alberto had a few. Benny had a couple of really important ones. Sheets, 3-0 swinging, I’m glad he was ready to hit 3-0 right there. We gave him the swing away, and that was a big home run for us. Our at-bats with runners in scoring position today were really good there. There was a lot of focus there, we shrunk the strike zone and we hit good pitches.”

In all, the White Sox were 5-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the second -- more RISP hits than they had in their last three games combined -- and finished 8-for-13 on the game. And with that came their highest-scoring game since they put up 17 runs on the Cubs in August 2021.

Chicago dug itself an early hole with a 10-game losing streak but has since won back-to-back series heading into its road trip to Kansas City. Ending the Cincinnati series on such a high note has the team ready to continue strong play.

“It’s fun,” Alberto said. “Every time you score a run, every time you win a game it’s fun. We’ve been playing really good ball right now. That’s what we want, go out there and enjoy what we’re doing, score runs and have fun as a team. We need it.”