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Crochet, three relievers combine on two-hit shutout as White Sox blank Blue Jays 5-0

Chicago starter Garrett Crochet and three relievers combined on a two-hit shutout as the White Sox dumped the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Crochet retired the first 13 batters he faced and allowed just two hits and one walk over his six-inning appearance. He gave up a double to Justin Turner in the fifth inning and a single to Ernie Clement in the sixth.

John Brebbia, Jordan Leasure and Michael Kopech each threw a clean inning of relief for the White Sox, who had eight hits on the night.

Corey Julks and Danny Mendick drove in two runs apiece as Chicago ended its four-game losing skid.

The White Sox, who own the worst record in Major League Baseball at 15-34, scored an unearned run against Yusei Kikuchi in the second and tacked on two more runs in the fifth.

That was more than enough support for Crochet (5-4), who had four strikeouts and threw 55 of his 85 pitches for strikes.

It was Chicago’s first victory over Toronto (21-26) in nine meetings. The Blue Jays will look to win their first series in a month in the rubber game Wednesday night.

An announced crowd of 28,176 took in the action with the roof open on a warm spring evening. The quiet Toronto bats gave the spectators little to cheer about.

Chicago’s unearned run came after Clement botched a routine throw to first base on a Korey Lee grounder. Zach Remillard dropped down a sacrifice bunt and Lee scored on a two-out single by Nicky Lopez.

Clement made a strong defensive play in the fourth inning that saved a run. He backhanded a scorched ball on one hop along the third-base line but his throw was not in time.

That left runners on the corners with two outs but Kikuchi (2-4) escaped the jam when Lopez grounded out.

The White Sox threatened again in the fifth and this time took advantage.

Andrew Vaughn walked and moved to third on an Eloy Jimenez double. Julks drove them in with a single up the middle.

Jimenez limped home after suffering a left hamstring strain as he rounded third base. The designated hitter was replaced by Gavin Sheets.

Turner reached in the bottom half after hitting a double off the top of the wall in left field. He took third on a George Springer nubber but was left stranded when Daulton Varsho struck out.

In the sixth, Clement found a hole in the infield with a single and moved to second on Danny Jansen’s two-out walk.

White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz made a mound visit before the six-foot-six Crochet got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on a flyout to end the inning.

Kikuchi allowed two earned runs, five hits and issued three walks over six innings. He had six strikeouts.

Mendick drove in a pair of insurance runs with a double off left-hander Tim Mayza in the eighth.

The game was completed in a tidy two hours 21 minutes.

TWO SPOT

Jansen was slotted in the No. 2 spot in the Toronto batting order for a second straight day.

He had three hits and drove in a season-high five runs in a 9-3 win over Chicago in the series opener on Monday. It was the first time this season that he batted second.

“He’s comfortable with who he is, what he does and what he does well,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said Tuesday in a pre-game media availability. “I told him where he was hitting (on Monday) and he kind of smirked. He knew it was a good thing.”

Among players with at least 70 plate appearances, Jansen entered play as the major-league leader in slugging percentage (. 681) and OPS (1.078).

COMING UP

Chris Bassitt (3-6, 5.03 earned-run average) was scheduled to start the series finale for the Blue Jays against fellow right-hander Mike Clevinger (0-2, 5.56).

Toronto will close the week with a four-game series in Detroit before heading to the Windy City for a three-game set against the White Sox.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2024.

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