Gavin Sheets’ grand slam boosts White Sox to 6-1 win over Red Sox

As the media approached him in the locker room Saturday after the White Sox’ 6-1 victory over the Red Sox, Gavin Sheets’ teammates ribbed him about the attention he was about to receive. The joshing was clearly in jest, and Sheets earned the spotlight with his fifth-inning grand slam, the first of his career.

During Sheets’ give-and-take with reporters, injured Sox pitcher Dominic Leone even stood in the media scrum holding out his phone, mimicking the way journalists record the quotes.

“Winning is always a lot of fun,” Sheets said. “Complete baseball the last two games, threw the ball extremely well. Had timely hitting. Getting wins is always fun.”

The Sox weren’t having that kind of fun recently.

On Friday, they ended their 14-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory against the Red Sox. Thanks to that win, Sox players didn’t have to show up to the ballpark Saturday worried about how long the skid would last and what kind of dubious records they might set.

They could just get back to focusing on baseball.

“The biggest thing is you don’t have to press as much when the ball is rolling the right direction, when you’re winning,” reliever Tanner Banks said after throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings. “Sometimes people go to the well a little more than they need to or should, searching instead of just trying to relax. In anything in life, how much easier is it when you can take a breath and relax and play your game or do your job the way that you intended to do it?”

Obviously, two wins don’t come close to fixing everything for the Sox. They’ve won consecutive games for the first time since May 14-15 against the Nationals and still sit 31 games below .500.

“It’s fun to win. It [stinks] to lose,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “That’s just it, plain and simple, but when you’re losing, you have to dissect the game and continue to improve, and when you’re winning, winning sometimes is dangerous, too. You still [have to] dig and find some things that you can improve on.

“And there’s some things today that we’ll be addressing tomorrow, but winning is fun, man.”

One issue the Sox have to address is Nick Nastrini’s control problems.

Looking to avoid becoming the first Sox pitcher ever to lose his first six starts, Nastrini went 4 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and Bobby Dalbec’s fifth-inning solo home run. Nastrini’s day was shortened by a familiar issue: control. Of his 87 pitches, 42 were strikes. With his five walks, Nastrini has walked 25 hitters in 24 2/3 innings.

More encouragingly, Nastrini hung in the game and didn’t let the Red Sox’ lineup take advantage of his wildness.

“I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job of late putting myself into bad situations but also getting out of it,” Nastrini said. “Not exactly what you want to do, but I held them to one run.”

Nastrini could look at his day with a positive tint because of how the game worked out for the Sox. There wasn’t a late blowup to squander a lead, and the offense wore down Red Sox starter Brayan Bello in the five-run fifth, batting around to take control.

It was just a win for the Sox. And for this team, wins are valuable for reasons that go beyond the standings.

“It’s huge to win two in a row, especially after a 14-game losing streak, to get some momentum back under our belts,” Nastrini said. “That’s exactly what we need heading into this stretch of the season.”

Latest on the White sox
With the Sox miles from contention and effectively playing out the string of a lost season, how many players get traded and when will be topics of conversation.
“I already have so many expectations of myself,” Crochet said. “In a moment like this, I like to think that I thrive in it.”
Cannon — the Sox’ 2022 third-round pick — didn’t have immediate success in the majors. He departed with a 7.24 ERA in three starts, showing that he needed more fine-tuning in the minors, which Cannon welcomed.
(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *