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Game Recap: Revenge of the Killer Sox. Four Chicago Homers Strangle Stros 9-4

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Despite 12 hits, four Astros double plays and rare triple play doom any Astros chance for a comeback

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One team hits four home runs, including a grand slam. Another team hits into four double plays. throw in a triple play just to make it interesting. All I need to say to finish this recap is to tell you which is which, right?

The White Sox had four homers, including a grand slam by Charles Tilson , the first homer in his career.

The Astros had four double plays, plus a triple play by...what?...Jake Marisnick.

White Sox 9, Astros 4.

Gerrit Cole surrendered two of the home runs tonight, one by Jose Abreu in the fourth inning, and another to rising prospect, 22 year old Eloy Jimenez, in the second inning. Jimenez would add another shot in the eighth. Here’s Jimenez.

Cole pitched five complete innings, allowed six earned runs, gave up seven hits and a walk. There was clearly something not quite right about him tonight. According to Brooks Baseball, which uses the Pitch f/x technology, Gerrit’s fastball averaged 95.0 MPH today, compared to his 2019 average of 97.40. Throwing 2 12 MPH below average in a game is unusual and troubling. But worse was the slider, also about 2 MPH less than average, and also lacking about one inch of vertical drop. Out of the 19 sliders, four of them went for base hits. Brooks scored the slider 3.53. Any positive number is trending bad. 3.53 is terrible.

Two of the runs charged to Cole were inherited runners that scored on the Tilson grand slam against Josh James. James came in with runners on second and third with no outs. He walked the first batter he faced, got the second batter to ground into a force out at home, and then Tilson put the game out of reach, 8-3.

James seemed to have turned a corner of late, not allowing a run in his last six outings, and with the two runs charged against him on the home run, his season ERA now stands at 5.11.

Chris Devenski pitched a scoreless seventh inning, followed by the newest Astro, rookie Brady Rogers, back in the Bigs for the first time since 2016. He pitched two generally successful innings, getting two K’s, but allowing the solo home run to Jimenez.

The Astros did most of their scoring in the fourth inning, beginning with a solo home run by Alex Bregman, his 15th, putting him in second place in the AL, and more than on pace to hit 45. Michael Brantley would single following Bregman’s blast, followed by a Carlos Correa run scoring double, with Correa advancing to third on an error. Aledmys Diaz would sacrifice Correa home on a shallow fly to center, Correa barely safe on the poor throw by Leury Garcia.

Here’s the action in the fourth.

The Astros would add a meaningless run in the ninth on a Jake Marisnick single which scored Tony Kemp.

But the real story of the game offensively for the Stros were the GIDP. That’s god damned somethin or other....oh yeah, ground into double plays. It happened in the first inning. It happened in the second inning. It happened in the sixth inning. It happened in the seventh inning.

In the third inning Jake Marisnick, the fastest Astro, hit into a triple play. It was a smash hit, smack down the third base line, and for some reason, that’s exactly where the Chicago Third baseman was camped. He caught the ball, just stepped on the bag without moving, to second to first, as easy as 5-4-3.

Here it is.

So Chicago got a triple play and a grand slam in the same game. Rare? Yeah, rare.

I’m not mad at Jake about that one. He hit it 97 MPH. It should have been a two run double. And he sort of made up for it with this amazing play in the outfield.

Chicago broke a nine game losing streak against the Astros tonight. Still the Astros are 15-3 in their last eighteen games and 33-17 overall. This was the 19th straight game in which the Astros hit a home run, tying the team record.

Tomorrow the Astros seek to take the series outright, sending rookie Corbin Martin (1-0, 3.86 ERA) against the Sox ace, Lucas Giolito (5-1, 3.35 ERA)

Game time 7:10 CDT.

Box score and videos HERE.