The Runner Sports

Smith’s Career Night And Engel’s Highlight Reel Catch, Help White Sox Break Six-Game Losing Streak

It was a nearly four-hour marathon game, which saw plenty of scoring in the first four innings, between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Tuesday night. The White Sox, with a few runners allowed on by Tyler Clippard in the ninth, would nearly ruin a career-night from rookie Kevan Smith and a spectacular highlight reel catch from fellow rookie Adam Engel.

Luckily, they didn’t though, and after getting to Astros ace Dallas Kuechel early and often, the South Siders would go on to an 8-5 win.  Scoring three runs in the first, which was started by their lone All-Star, Avisail Garcia, who was just coming back off the DL, getting an opposite field dribbler RBI single to score Tim Anderson.  Anderson starting things off with a nice rope double to left, before Tyler Saladino would get a single to left to put the Sox’s first two batters of the game on.  The South Siders would load the bases with one out before Yoan Moncada got an RBI single to left and Leury Garcia a bases loaded RBI groundout to round out their three-run first.

Every Sox batter in the lineup got a hit to help them break a six-game losing streak while handing the Astros just their 16th road loss in 54 games.  You would think that it was the White Sox, and not Houston, that was coming into the game with the best record in the American League, at an astounding 31 games over .500, before the game.  Rookie Kevan Smith getting the best of them with a career-night that saw him go 2-for-3 with a career high two walks and four RBIs, as well as a monster no doubt two-run shot to left in the fourth.  Which was just the third home run of Smith’s career.

“I had a good night, but a lot of us had a good night.  We knew what he featured and how great of a pitcher he is, and I think a lot of us just worked a lot of counts, looked for pitches up in the zone, and a lot of us were on base.  Fortunately, I was in the right position to get a few hits with guys on,” Smith said of his career night in the post game.

Veteran Derek Holland, despite allowing a career-high seven walks, gave the Sox his second straight solid outing by going 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out five.  The only real big trouble Holland –who had a 9.46 ERA over his last 10 outings before these last two– had being in the second inning.  He gave up three runs on a bases-loaded, two-out line drive RBI triple to right-center to Alex Bregman, which tied the game at 3-3 at the time.  The Sox would take back the lead again on a two-run RBI double from Smith in the very next inning for the other two of his career-high four RBIs.

The highlight of the night, which almost assuredly secured the White Sox just their fifth win since July 4, came in the very next half inning, during the top of the fourth when rookie center fielder, Adam Engel, made a very spectacular leaping catch in right-center to rob Brian McCann of a home run.  Which was by far not only one of the best catches I’ve ever seen this year, but possibly ever.

Keeping the Sox lead at three at the time, it was a real momentum changer that easily could’ve spun it back to the Astros, had Engel not made that catch.