Mar 30, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal (24) celebrates with third base coach Eddie Rodriguez (18) after hitting a home run during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
White Sox rally to spoil Astros banner night
The Chicago White Sox ended the Astros’ run of 10 straight wins on Opening Day by rallying for a 3-2 win on Thursday at Minute Maid Park. Framber Valdez did not allow a run over five innings, but the White Sox broke through for all three runs in the game’s final two innings against Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly. The Astros managed just two hits, both singles, in the game’s first eight innings, and struck out 12 times.
Framber Valdez and Dylan Cease trade zeroes
You figured a game started by two top-five finishers in last season’s Cy Young race would be well-pitched, and Thursday didn’t disappoint. Framber Valdez scattered six hits, five of which were singles, across five innings with four strikeouts, and he didn’t walk a batter, with nine of his 15 outs coming on the ground. Valdez’ only bump came in his final innings when he allowed leadoff singles to Elvis Andrus and Romy Gonzalez to give the White Sox runners at the corners, but Alex Bregman saved a run when he charged Tim Anderson’s ground ball down the third baseline. He threw home and executed a textbook rundown with Martin Maldonado. After striking out Luis Robert, Valdez hit Andrew Vaughn to load the bases but worked out of trouble by getting Eloy Jimenez to ground into a fielder’s choice.
Cease dominated the Astros in his first six innings of work, allowing a leadoff to Jeremy Peña in the first, but retired the next 19 Astros he faced, striking out 10, but that run ended when he hit Yordan Alvarez with one-out in the seventh. Jose Abreu followed that up with a single to left field, ending Cease’s night.
Both teams break through against the bullpens
Aaron Bummer replaced Cease and walked Kyle Tucker to load the bases. He struck out Yainer Diaz for the second out of the inning but threw a wild pitch with Jake Meyers at the plate to bring in the game’s first run. Meyers struck out to keep the Astros to just the one run, and the White Sox answered in the eighth when Yasmani Grandal took Rafael Montero deep with two out to tie the game. After Kendall Graveman kept the Astros off the board in the bottom of the eighth, the White Sox rallied to score a pair off Ryan Pressly on Andrew Vaughn’s two-run double in the ninth. Reynaldo Lopez allowed a 442-foot home run to Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the ninth, and the Astros got the tying run to the plate after Tucker was hit by a pitch with two out, but Diaz struck out to end the game.
News and Notes:
Injury updates: Astros general manager provided updates on the five players the Astros placed on the IL Thursday:
•Jose Altuve avoided the 60-day IL, and the Astros are hopeful his fractured thumb will heal quicker than expected, but he won’t start baseball activities for five weeks.
•Michael Brantley (shoulder) will return to Florida to start a ramp-up before joining Triple-A Sugar Land for a rehab assignment, but he’ll miss a minimum of three weeks.
•Lance McCullers Jr. (elbow) is pain-free and throwing off flat ground, but there’s no timetable for when he’ll throw off the mound.
•Blake Taylor (elbow) is pitching in games and will head to Sugar Land.
•Parker Mushinski (back) has just started throwing off the mound.
The Astros will get their World Series rings prior to hosting the White Sox in game two of their four-game series, with Cristian Javier getting the start opposite Lance Lynn.