SOX PUTTING ON SHOW

Team con­tin­ues to shine on of­fense, but in­juries keep pil­ing up with Robert hurt

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com | @CST_­sox­van

On most nights, the White Sox are must­see TV.

Or should we say must-TV see.

The tele­vi­sion screen is the only way to see them in 2020, and it’s al­most al­ways en­ter­tain­ing view­ing, es­pe­cially of late when red-hot short­stop Tim An­der­son is up to bat.

Or when ul­tra-tal­ented 22-year-old rookie Luis Robert is up.

Or Eloy Jimenez or Yoan Mon­cada, round­ing out the Sox’ four­some of ex­plo­sive 20-some­thing hit­ters.

“It’s been a blast to watch the last cou­ple days,” said right-han­der Dylan Cease (4-1, 3.16 ERA), who al­lowed two runs over 6„ in­nings to win his fourth con­sec­u­tive start in a 10-4 win over the Tigers on Tues­day. “This is the most en­ter­tain­ing team I’ve been on. Es­pe­cially when they hit bombs and ev­ery­body [in the dugout] freaks out. It’s pretty awe­some.”

Now if the Sox can some­how find a way to stay healthy. In a sea­son filled with a rash of in­juries, Robert was the lat­est, leav­ing in the eighth in­ning with a sore right hand. He was the sec­ond key player to exit in as many nights, fol­low­ing catcher Yas­mani Gran­dal (stiff back). Robert, who is day to day, came up shak­ing his hand after at­tempt­ing a div­ing catch off Austin Romine’s line drive.

X-rays were neg­a­tive, and man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria said the in­jury was not se­ri­ous. On Mon­day, Gran­dal left with a stiff back.

Mean­while, the Sox put on an­other good of­fen­sive show and wasted no time do­ing it. An­der­son, who went 4-for-5 to raise his batting av­er­age to .379, led off the first in­ning for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive night with a home run, greet­ing left-han­der Tarik Skubal to the ma­jor leagues with the Sox’ 11th homer in three games. An­der­son also dou­bled and sin­gled twice, scor­ing three runs and driv­ing in three.

“We’re hav­ing fun,” An­dreson said. “When we have fun the rest takes care of it­self. We had some good at-bats and kept putting up runs.”

Jose Abreu sin­gled twice and dou­bled his first three times up, driv­ing in three runs to tie Bibb Falk for 12th on the Sox’ all-time list with 627 RBI.

It was the third game in row the Sox opened the record books. Mon­cada, Gran­dal, Abreu and Jimenez strung to­gether four con­sec­u­tive homers Sun­day, the 10th time it hap­pened in the his­tory of the game, and An­der­son and Mon­cada launched back-to­back home runs against Matthew Boyd to start the first in­ning Mon­day, kick­ing off a six-homer bar­rage and mak­ing the Sox the first team in the mod­ern era to hit two con­sec­u­tive homers to start a game within a five-game span. An­der­son and Jimenez did it against the Tigers last week.

The Sox are 13-11, win­ners of three in a row, very en­ter­tain­ing and a play­off con­tender, but still, as gen­eral man­ager Rick Hahn said Mon­day, “a work in progress. We know that.”

“We know this year was al­ways go­ing to be about tak­ing that next step to putting our­selves in the best long-term po­si­tion. Doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have high ex­pec­ta­tions for this sea­son. Doesn’t mean we won’t be able to meet the high ex­pec­ta­tions for this sea­son.

“If we were fully healthy, I would prob­a­bly feel a lit­tle better see­ing those flashes on a more con­sis­tent ba­sis.”

With four con­sec­u­tive qual­ity starts, Cease is find­ing the con­sis­tency that was lack­ing as a rookie in 2019.

“Every start I’m learn­ing some­thing and get­ting more pre­cise,” he said. “The big­gest thing is we’re win­ning games.”

Cease struck out only three and his sea­son high is five, but “I think he’s ac­tu­ally get­ting better,” Ren­te­ria said. “The com­mand is start­ing to come. We’re see­ing him inch for­ward.”

GETTY IM­AGES

Luis Robert is day to day with a sore right hand after leav­ing the game Tues­day against the Tigers after at­tempt­ing to make a div­ing catch off Austin Romine’s liner in the sev­enth in­ning.

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