Luis Robert Jr. began Sunday’s second inning with a five-pitch walk.
It was an innocent start to a record-breaking inning for the Chicago White Sox.
The Sox scored 11 runs in the second, hammering the Cincinnati Reds 17-4 in front of 20,338 at Great American Ball Park.
The 11 runs set a team record for a second inning, topping the previous mark of 10 on July 28, 1935, against the St. Louis Browns.
“I liked everything about it,” manager Pedro Grifol said of the inning. “(Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft) is a really good starter, and we were able to shrink the strike zone a little bit, make him pitch, make him come in the zone and put some good swings on it.
“And then we just kept tacking on. That’s really important for us, just to keep adding runs. It’s hard to hit, and (Sunday) was one of those days where our guys just shrunk the strike zone.”
It’s the first time the Sox scored at least 11 runs in any inning since Sept. 17, 2007, when they scored 11 in the fifth at Kansas City. The team record for runs in an inning is 13 in the fourth on Sept. 2, 1943, at Washington.
The 17 runs were the most for the Sox in a game since a 17-13 victory against the Cubs on Aug. 27, 2021, at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Sunday’s 11-run inning featured three walks, five singles, a triple and home runs by Hanser Alberto and Gavin Sheets. Alberto hit a two-run homer and Sheets had a three-run shot.
“We had a good plan, tried to hit good pitches and put on the best swings we can,” Alberto said.
After Robert’s walk, Ashcraft also fell behind in the count to the next hitter, Alberto. The third baseman hit the second pitch over the left-field wall for his third homer of the season and second of the series.
Yasmani Grandal singled. So did Elvis Andrus with one out. Tim Anderson drew a two-out walk, loading the bases for Andrew Benintendi.
The Sox left fielder, who was born in Cincinnati, drove in two with a single. Andrew Vaughn followed with a two-run triple to right, making it 6-1.
Robert hit a comebacker off Ashcraft for an infield hit, scoring Vaughn. Casey Legumina replaced Ashcraft and walked Alberto. Grandal had an RBI single, and Sheets added the exclamation point with the three-run homer to make it 11-1.
It was the first time the Reds allowed 11 in an inning since April 13, 2003, against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Sox scored three more in the third and another three in the fifth. They went 8-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
The offensive outburst came the same day the Sox placed slugger Eloy Jiménez on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Saturday, because of an appendectomy. He is is expected to miss four to six weeks.
“We lost Eloy and everybody knows what kind of player he is,” Alberto said. “He’ll be missed a lot, but while he’s recovering we’ll try to play good ball so when he comes back, he sees a better team. He can join us and keep doing what he was doing.”
Alberto had four hits, a career-high four RBIs and scored twice. Vaughn also drove in four. Robert had two hits, two RBIs, two walks and scored four times. Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit.
It all helped Sox starter Michael Kopech, who allowed four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and one walk in six innings. He surrendered four solo home runs.
“I told (pitching coach) Ethan (Katz) after four: ‘My stuff’s not great today, but I’m prepared to give you as many as you need. I’ll go out there and do the best of my ability, whatever that is,’” Kopech said. “It wasn’t great, but to get through six, I’m happy with that.”
The Sox (12-23) took two of three in the series, their second consecutive series victory.
“Our mindset has been from Day 1, just worry about tomorrow,” Grifol said. “One game at a time. We dug ourselves a hole and we’ve got to claw ourselves out of it. One game at a time. Don’t get too far ahead and enjoy this one and get ready to play Kansas City (on Monday).”
Liam Hendriks makes another rehab appearance
Sox closer Liam Hendriks allowed one run on two hits in one inning for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday at Gwinnett, Ga.
It was the second rehab outing for Hendriks, who has been on the IL since the beginning of the season while undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He announced on April 20 he was cancer-free after completing chemotherapy on April 5.
Pitching in the seventh, Hendriks gave up consecutive singles before getting out of the inning with a sacrifice fly, double play and groundout.
Source: Berkshire mont
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