Sox Explode; Stay Alive In Series

Anderson scores to start rout.
(c) Associated Press
If you decided to go to bed last night when the Astros built a 5-1 lead on the Chicago White Sox, I have some bad news for you. After meltdowns form starter Luis Garcia and the early bullpen crew, Chicago feasted in the middle innings, eventually cruising to a 12-6 decision to stay alive in the best-of-five A.L.D.S. Houston still owns a 2-1 edge in the series. Game Four will come quickly, a Monday afternoon tilt which is set for 2:37 p.m. Central time.

Kyle Tucker drove in four of Houston's first five runs with a two-run double in the second and a two-run homer in the third. Dylan Cease was yanked by Tony LaRussa after just 1-2/3rd innings. At that point, a sweep looked imminent.

However, with their backs to the wall, Chicago fought back against Luis Garcia and then reliever Yimi Garcia (no relation). Yasmani Grandal smacked a two-run homer to left off Luis then Leury Garcia (again, no relation), cracked a three-run blast to center against Yimi.

Houston tallied once more in the fourth when Alex Bregman singled home Jose Altuve, which tied the game at six apiece, but Yimi gave up three hits to start the home half of the fourth then Special Guest Reliever Zach Greinke allowed a pair more to come in, pushing the Chicago lead to 9-6. Brooks Raley allowed the final three tallies in the eighth.

In between, Cristian Javier tossed 2-2/3rd innings of hitless ball and Ryne Stanek also threw a scoreless inning. Chicago racked up 16 hits while striking out 13 times. Meanwhile, the Spacemen notched just six hits and whiffed an amazing 16 times.

Game Four will feature righthander Jose Urquidy (8-3, 3.62 ERA) against lefty Carlos Rodon (13-5, 2.37) who is arguably their best starter but had been held back due to injury concerns. With the season on the line, LaRussa may again come out with a quick hook and force his bullpen to eat most of the innings.

The Astros had a problem closing out sweeps during the regular season so it's no surprise they couldn't broom the Sox when they had the chance. I think they will prefer the daytime since making contact was a problem for some of them at night. If Chicago wins, a decisive Game Five would be played Wednesday back in Houston with Game One starters Lance McCullers and Lance Lynn returning to the bump.

- Bob Hulsey