Sox seeking more wins like this one in June

June 3rd, 2023

CHICAGO -- A 3-0 victory for the White Sox over the Tigers on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field produced the sort of win the South Siders will need in bunches if they plan on getting back into American League Central contention.

was activated off the injured list to give the White Sox (24-35) five scoreless innings with six strikeouts. The bullpen combined to preserve the shutout over the final four, and exceptional defense from second baseman and center fielder kept the Tigers (26-29) scoreless until Chicago's offense got moving.

As for that offense … knocked out two hits, setting up a two-run sixth with a single to right and then doubling down the left-field line to score with an insurance run in the seventh after Burger beat out what looked like a double-play grounder off the bat. Anderson is 11-for-29 over his last seven games.

“If he starts spraying the ball around like that, that's going to be really good for us,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “As he goes, we go, right? He makes things happen for us on the top of the order. He's feeling better. He looks better. He took some good pitches today [and] had some good ABs.”

“[No.] 7 is a big part of this team,” said reliever , who increased his scoreless streak to 12 consecutive appearances with a nine-pitch sixth. “It’s great to see him start to get going.”

The White Sox didn’t get going against rookie hurler Reese Olson until the sixth when Gonzalez’s leadoff single to left marked the team’s first hit of the night. Anderson and followed with singles and extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying 13 games with a run-scoring single to center.

Grifol spoke pregame about the pluses and minuses of facing a pitcher for the first time. But he gave Olson -- making his MLB debut -- the credit for Friday’s temporary drought with the bats, despite Olson being charged with two runs after departing behind Anderson’s single.

“I don't know if we completely figured it out. [Olson] had pretty good stuff,” Grifol said. “He was sinking it. His slider was a good slider, kind of an electric pitch for him. It's got really tight spin, it's late. The more we see him, the more comfortable we are against him, but he still made some good pitches.

“He was poised; he did a nice job for them. Timely hitting was the key, along with pitching and really good defense.”

Elsewhere on Friday night, Minnesota toppled Cleveland, 1-0, to maintain a 7 1/2-game division lead over the White Sox. But there’s no point in studying the standings on June 2.

No team is going to win a division sitting 11 games under .500, where Chicago currently resides. So, if the organization believes this White Sox team has a division crown within it, the players need to put a run of Friday performances together.

With two games left against the Tigers, the White Sox have a 10-7 record covering a stretch of 19 games with 16 against the AL Central. It’s a good start with June business about to pick up schedule-wise next week at Yankee Stadium.

“Everybody came out and did their job tonight,” Middleton said. “We are headed in the right direction. We have a lot of making up to do but we are going to put in the work and make it happen.”

“I can almost bet the standings they are not going to end the way they are today,” Grifol said. “There’s going to be some surprises, both good and bad. We have [103] games left. Our job is to continue to work and prepare and learn and go out there and play hard. We owe it to each other. We owe it to the game. We owe it to the organization. We owe it to the fans. We had high expectations coming in. They are still there.”