Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal had no idea that his first game back from the injured list would go so well. Now, he wants to keep it going.
Grandal had two homers and eight RBIs in his return from the injured list in the wild 17-13 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs on Friday night. It was his first game since July 5 because of a knee injury.
“I feel good,” Grandal said with a smile. “I just tried to get my feet back underneath me. I didn’t think I was going to have the game that I had, but right after the first (at-bat), something clicked.”
The White Sox will look to make it five straight wins over the Cubs this season when the crosstown rivals face off Saturday for the second installment of a three-game set on Chicago’s South Side.
The Cubs jumped to a 6-0 lead in the series opener but watched as the White Sox responded forcefully with 13 straight runs.
Grandal will look for an encore performance after matching a franchise single-game record with eight RBIs. The last White Sox player to drive in as many runs in a game was Robin Ventura, who tallied eight RBIs on a pair of grand slams on Sept. 4, 1995.
The veteran said he felt better in the series opener than he did during a minor league rehab assignment. He became the first catcher in major league history and 13th major league player overall to notch a pair of eight RBI games in his career.
“My sequencing felt good,” Grandal said. “I felt like the past two weeks, I haven’t been able to drive with my back side, whether it was the fact that the hamstring just wasn’t firing right or not. It was just a matter of I wasn’t sequencing my start (of the at-bat). All of a sudden, after that first AB, I was able to get it, and it went from there.”
The White Sox will try to overcome the Cubs once again with right-hander Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.20 ERA), who is scheduled to make his 24th start of the season. He has 145 strikeouts in 130 2/3 innings on the season.
Lynn is looking for his first victory since July 25 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He has tallied five no-decisions in a row, including his last time out, when he allowed one run on four hits in seven innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.
In 22 career games (21 starts) against the Cubs, Lynn is 6-7 with a 4.78 ERA.
The Cubs will counter with right-hander Alec Mills (5-6, 4.76 ERA), who will make his 14th start of the 2021 campaign. He hopes to bounce back from an ugly performance against the Kansas City Royals in which he surrendered seven runs on 12 hits in four innings.
This will be Mills’ first career appearance against the White Sox.
“Obviously, losing is not fun,” Mills said after his most recent outing. “There’s really no other way to put it.”
–Field Level Media