By Scott Merkin
CLEVELAND — The White Sox needed to win Thursday afternoon’s rescheduled contest at Progressive Field to maintain hope of catching the Guardians in the American League Central.
So they developed the perfect plan for success: Hit home runs, as in five home runs, leaving them just short of the club record of seven, accomplished twice in franchise history. All five came against rookie spot-starter Hunter Gaddis, who got the call with Triston McKenzie moved back to face Minnesota on Friday. With the power surge, the White Sox took home an 8-2 win over the Guardians in the series finale at Progressive Field, pulling within three games of first place.
Those five long balls allowed by Gaddis equaled a single-game high by a Cleveland pitcher.
Gavin Sheets knocked out the first homer and probably the most important of the day, connecting on a 2-2 four-seamer in the second to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. Sheets culminated a 10-pitch at-bat featuring five two-strike foul balls with the 365-foot blast.
According to Elias, the last time the White Sox hit 5 homers in the first five innings was June 30, 2021 in a 13-3 victory vs. Minnesota. Vaughn, Grandal, Sheets, Brian Goodwin and Jose Abreu did the honors in that game.