Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

White Sox News

Milestones abound for White Sox in victory

@scottmerkin
August 2, 2020

Eloy Jiménez made Luis Robert a little angry during the 11-5 White Sox victory over the Royals on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium. It wasn’t because Jiménez matched him with four hits and a home run. Robert was miffed because somewhere around the sixth inning, Jiménez began talking about both

Eloy Jiménez made Luis Robert a little angry during the 11-5 White Sox victory over the Royals on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

It wasn’t because Jiménez matched him with four hits and a home run. Robert was miffed because somewhere around the sixth inning, Jiménez began talking about both of them having a shot to hit for the cycle.

Box score

“Oh my god. I tell Luis we just need a triple in the next two at-bats,” said Jiménez during a joint Zoom session with Robert. “And he said, ‘Why did you tell me that? Now I have to focus on triples. I just want to hit the ball good.’

“I said, ‘OK, just hit it and you will get a triple.’ He was mad at me. So we got a four-hit game, and that’s good.”

Both players fell a triple short of the cycle. Robert, 22, finished with three extra-base hits and Jiménez, 23, drove in four runs, including with a three-run homer in the first inning where the ball ricocheted off center fielder Bubba Starling and flew from his glove over the fence.

But when asked who had a better chance to get that elusive triple, Jiménez thought there was no contest.

“Come on, man,” said Jiménez with a broad smile. “I’m La Pantera. He’s fake.”

La Pantera is the nickname for Robert, who already looks to be one of the more electric players in baseball, let alone among the rookie class. He hit leadoff for the first time as a Major Leaguer on Saturday night, although not for the first time as a professional player, and seems to have found a home.

Manager Rick Renteria was impressed by Robert’s at-bats and said “absolutely, 110 percent” he would lead off again in Sunday’s series finale. It makes sense to have Robert atop the order with Tim Anderson, the team’s usual leadoff hitter, on the 10-day injured list.

“I didn't think his at-bats were bad,” Renteria said. “Obviously, the outcomes were pretty good.”

Sox make history with 4 Cubans atop lineup

Rookie right-hander Matt Foster made his Major League debut and picked up his first career strikeout and first career victory in relief of starter Gio González. Foster became the fifth White Sox hurler to earn a win in his Majors debut during the last 10 years, per Elias, joining Dylan Cease (July 3, 2019), Scott Carroll (April 27, 2014), Jake Petricka (August 22, 2013) and Lucas Harrell (July 30, 2010). Codi Heuer struck out two and allowed one run over the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his first career save.

González didn’t allow a run over 3 2/3 innings but yielded to Jimmy Cordero with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, having thrown just 77 pitches. Cordero retired Whit Merrifield on an infield popup to end the threat.

“We can fast forward mine and go straight to our guys in the ‘pen,” González said. “They did a phenomenal job, kept us in the game and did their part.

“I'm happy for Foster and Codi, first win and first save, that's huge. That's something to remember for the rest of their time. It's bittersweet. I wish I had done better, had a different kind of line, but a win's a win and the music's playing. That's all that matters.”

The White Sox have won three straight games and raised their record to 4-4. They knocked out 21 hits, with Leury García adding four and reaching base six times in his first start at shortstop. Yoán Moncada, 25, had three hits to join his young teammates in leading the attack.

“We have been working hard as a group,” Jiménez said. “I’m just happy to be with young guys like us, learning from the veterans. We have the chance to compete, so we are good. We feel good.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.