White Sox blast six homers in victory over Tigers; Grandal exits with stiff back
Anderson and Robert hit two homers apiece, and Moncada and Mendick also go deep.
Injuries have hit the White Sox just about everywhere, and the latest one got them in their pocketbook.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal, who left the Sox’ 7-2 victory Monday against the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field with a stiff lower back, was the latest player to take a seat, exiting after making a routine play in front of the plate on a nubber by Austin Romine in the sixth inning.
The Sox shook off the latest hurt, however, by blasting six home runs a day after hitting four consecutive homers. Maybe they simply can outslug their injury woes.
‘‘We’re dangerous,’’ said shortstop Tim Anderson, who hit two homers to go with two from rookie center fielder Luis Robert and one each from Yoan Moncada and Danny Mendick. ‘‘The lineup, from top to bottom, everybody can swing it. When we’re clicking like that, I don’t think a team can beat us.’’
Grandal, who signed to a four-year, $73 million contract in the offseason — the richest deal in Sox history — picked up the ball on Romine’s tap and threw it to first baseman Jose Abreu. Nothing appeared to be wrong, but he walked off the field with trainer James Kruk and was replaced by James McCann.
‘‘We have to keep going,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘I’m sure he’s going to get the treatment he needs. but the game don’t stop for nobody. We have to keep going.’’
Manager Rick Renteria said Grandal isn’t hurt seriously.
‘‘He just developed some tightness,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘It didn’t make sense to leave him in there. He’s day-to-day.’’
Earlier in the day, though, the Sox put outfielder Adam Engel on the COVID injured list for precautionary reasons. On Saturday, utility player Leury Garcia (thumb surgery) was transferred to the 45-day IL, putting him out till October, and right-hander Ian Hamilton (soreshoulder) went on the 10-day IL.
They joined starting pitchers Reynaldo Lopez and Carlos Rodon, top reliever Aaron Bummer, rookie reliever Jimmy Lambert and rookie second baseman Nick Madrigal on the sidelines. Anderson was out 10 days with a strained groin.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of challenges,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said before the game. ‘‘There are challenges this team has faced in terms of a couple of positive [coronavirus] results coming on their way into camp [including Moncada]. We lost a couple of elements of our rotation, a couple of guys in the bullpen. Lost our middle infield for a stretch of time, and yet guys have been out there competing and grinding through, despite dealing with these challenges both inside and outside that clubhouse. That’s good to see.’’
Anderson and Moncada launched back-to-back blasts against left-hander Matthew Boyd to open the first, and Anderson poked a low liner inside the right-field foul pole in the second.
Anderson and Eloy Jimenez opened a victory against the Tigers and Boyd last week with back-to-back homers. According to Elias, the Sox are the first team in the modern era to hit back-to-back homers to start a game twice in a five-game span. The previous-shortest span since 1900 was by the 2018 Dodgers, who did it twice in a 10-game span.
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out 10 for his 15th career game with double-digit strikeouts. He left with a 3-2 lead and his pitch count at 99.
The Sox (12-11) are expecting to make the playoffs in the abbreviated 60-game season with a 16-team playoff field.
‘‘We wanted to see this team progress, becoming a championship-caliber team,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘We’ve shown flashes of that. If we were fully healthy, I would probably feel a little better seeing those flashes on a more consistent basis.’’