The Chicago White Sox hadn’t played a postseason game in 12 years, but thanks to three home runs and a dominant start from Lucas Giolito, they made the occasion a memorable one as they secured a 4-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics in Game 1.
The White Sox have hammered left-handed pitching all season long, and they continued to do that in the second inning of the game, as Engel laced a home run over the left-center field wall to give Chicago a 1-0 lead early in the contest.
Jose Abreu, a strong American League MVP candidate, added another highlight to his sizzle reel in the third inning, as he launched a two-run shot to left field to score Tim Anderson and to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead after three innings.
That score held for quite a while for Chicago, as Giolito continued to deal for the White Sox. He ultimately made it through six perfect innings, becoming the first pitcher to do so since Mike Mussina accomplished the feat in 2004 for the New York Yankees.
The single hit by Tommy La Stella in the seventh broke up that perfect game, but Giolito pitched around it and kept the Sox in front heading into the eighth.
After Yasmani Grandal hit a solo home run to add another insurance run, the A’s got back to work in the eighth inning. Giolito started the frame for the White Sox, but was pulled quickly after allowing the first two runners in the frame to reach base.
Evan Marshall kept things mostly in check, but he surrendered Oakland’s first run of the day as Mark Canha scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Ramon Laureano to make the game 4-1.
After Sean Murphy laced a single to center field, Tommy La Stella came up as the tying run, and Aaron Bummer got him to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning and keep the White Sox ahead by three runs heading into the ninth inning.
The White Sox will try to finish off the series on Wednesday when they send Dallas Keuchel to the mound against the A’s. First pitch is set for 2:08 p.m., and the game will air on ESPN.