Engel’s three-run homer in second carries White Sox to 3-2 victory over Royals
Dallas Keuchel pitched 5 1⁄3 innings of two-run ball and relievers Jimmy Cordero, Evan Marshall and Alex Colome took care of the rest as the White Sox improved to 3-4.
Right fielder Nomar Mazara should make his White Sox debut any day now. In his absence, Adam Engel has kept his place warm the last two games.
Engel, who will be the Sox’ fourth outfielder but likely will platoon with the left-handed-hitting Mazara when he comes off the injured list, hit a three-run home run against Royals rookie left-hander Kris Bubic in the second inning of the Sox’ 3-2 victory Friday at Kauffman Stadium. The lofty poke into the Sox’ bullpen in left gave left-hander Dallas Keuchel a 3-0 lead.
Salvador Perez’s RBI single in the third and Ryan McBroom’s homer in the sixth accounted for the Royals’ runs against Keuchel (2-0), who allowed seven hits and one walk and struck out two in 5⅓ innings.
Jimmy Cordero got five outs, including three strikeouts, in scoreless relief, Evan Marshall pitched a perfect eighth and closer Alex Colome got his first save with a perfect ninth. In four games on the road trip, Sox relievers have pitched 16⅔ scoreless innings.
Mazara, who has missed the first seven games for an unspecified reason, is getting game-ready at Schaumburg. He was acquired from the Rangers in an offseason trade for outfield prospect Steele Walker.
“He’s very close,” manager Rick Renteria said.
Engel doubled against Zach Plesac on Wednesday, one of three Sox hits in the righty’s 11-strikeout performance. He’s 6-for-16 with four extra-base hits in limited time.
“My goal is to help the team win,” said Engel, a superior defensive player to Mazara. “If I’m platooning with Nomar, hopefully the right-field spot is one that is really contributing a lot between the two of us.”
Anderson exits with sore hip
Shortstop Tim Anderson was pinch-hit for by Leury Garcia in the seventh inning and left the game with a sore left hip. He aggravated the hip moving to his left on two ground balls and is day to day, Renteria said.
Anderson doubled and singled, giving him eight hits in his last 15 at-bats, including three doubles and a homer. He also made an error on a grounder hit by McBroom and got his feet tangled on the edge of the outfield grass on an infield single.
Garcia singled to left field with Nick Madrigal on second, but Alex Gordon threw out Madrigal, who had reached on an infield error, at home. Madrigal went 0-for-3 in his major-league debut.
Right-hander Kelvin Herrera, who struggled after the Sox signed him to a two-year, $18 million contract before the 2019 season, was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Madrigal.
“We gave him the whole year last year to work through the foot injury and try to settle in,” Renteria said.
“He left camp still right around 91 miles an hour, still wasn’t the same guy that everybody was used to seeing the previous years of his service.”
Crochet a quick study
Left-hander Garrett Crochet, the No. 11 overall pick in June, is working under Class AAA Charlotte pitching coach Matt Zaleski and minor-league pitching coordinator Everett Teaford at the taxi squad’s camp in Schaumburg.
“We’ve got some things we’re focusing on right now, and he’s taking to it fairly quickly,” director of player development Chris Getz said. “He’s a guy that takes to instruction very well. We’ve seen quick adjustments, and that’s a sign of a guy that’s going to be able to make the proper adjustments as a big-leaguer.”
James McCann was hit by pitches from Bubic, who was making his major-league debut, his first two times up. The first one was off McCann’s helmet, and the second, off his left forearm, prompted McCann to slam his bat in anger.