LOS ANGELES — The White Sox hit four home runs Thursday; The Dodgers have one.
But the Sox shot was a solo long ball, and the Dodgers came in with the bases loaded, a tying shot by Chris Taylor against Reynaldo Lopez in the sixth. When the Dodgers broke the series in the 11th inning, going from the Sox 5-4 on a Freddie Freeman single against Garrett Crochet on a night the Sox were in good position to tie for a series on a rocky road, those four home runs seemed oh, so long ago.
That was because the Sox had just one more hit after the fourth, doubled by Elvis Andrus who led the eighth inning. Andrus would not score, stuck between third and the hosts due to a baserunning error that the Sox were unable to cover.
“It was a tough ball game. It's hard to lose too,” said manager Pedro Grifol. “Leading the four steps, it is hard to lose. Four homers.”
The Sox's four home runs came in the first four innings against left-hander Michael Grove in favor of Dylan Halt, who had 10 hits and led 4-0 into the sixth. The Sox looked poised to take the rubber game out of the series but instead fell to 30-40 in their failed attempt to stay away their significant length under the . 500 mark.
Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez hit back-to-back homers in the first inning, and Jake Burger and Andrew Vaughn hit back-to-back jacks in the fourth. It was Burger's 16th of the season and third in two games. Robert scored his 17th and second goal in two games.
It was the first time since July 11, 2010 that the Sox hit back-to-back homers twice in a game.
But Burger hit another quadruple, adding to the Sox's total of 16 stinks. The Dodgers (39-30) also hit out 16 times.
“I feel a lot of responsibility,” says Burger. “In 11th inning, I had an at-bat to go (free runner, pinch runner Romy Gonzalez), and Vaughnie hit a flybag ball there but I didn't finish it. We like four home runs, but for me I didn't hit, and that was it.”
With his total at 102, Cease lifted with one out and two runners in sixth. James Outman's two-out single against Lopez loaded the base for Taylor.
“I think I had both guys within a two-hit count, and I left the pitch, so I'm disappointed I didn't finish,” said Halt.
The Sox had a chance to regain the lead when Andrus doubled down on Shelby Miller. But Tim Anderson struck, and after Gavin Sheets grounded, sending Andrus to third, and Robert walking, Andrus was caught between third and home to end the inning.
With Jimenez up, Andrus bit a fake Will Smith pump into second with Robert stealing – and was chased by Taylor, the third baseman, for a third down.
“He just got caught in a prosthetic arm,” said Grifol.
The winner of Freeman's game was a fly ball that landed harmlessly behind Robert, playing shallow with the bases filled and nothing out. Mookie Betts had run in an 11-pitch at-bat before then, and Crochet — his pace at 93-94 mph, a few below his norm — received visits from Grifol and assistant trainer Josh Fallin.
“Speed dropped a bit,” said Grifol. “He pitched several innings the other day. I just want to make sure he doesn't get hurt. She said she didn't. You got a guy throwing over 90s, he's out throwing 93-94, that's okay as long as he doesn't get hurt. He said he felt good.”