Going into Saturday afternoon's game, not many surrounding the White Sox were optimistic that they could win the ball game. After all, it was Dylan Axelrod going up against "King" Felix Hernandez, one of the MLB's best pitchers in the prime of his career.
But as we saw, baseball can just be way too unpredictable sometimes.
Axelrod actually ended up outdealing Hernandez by a decent margin, throwing 5.2 innings of 3-hit, 1-run baseball. And that 1 run wasn't even earned, coming on a Jeff Keppinger error in the infield.
"Axe" did a good job of battling out of trouble and keeping the surprisingly powerful Seattle offense at bay. It was certainly encouraging, as starting pitching depth is never something you can have too much of. Especially with many young arms carrying large roles this year, the more is certainly the merrier.
The Sox tied up the Mariners at 1 on an RBI sacrifice fly from backup catcher Hector Gimenez. But the biggest hit of the game was Alex Rios' 2-run home run (2) in the 6th inning that put the Sox up by a couple runs. Considering Rios' inconsistency from season-to-season throughout his career, it's definitely good to see him off to a powerful start after his phenomenal 2012 campaign.
There were a couple of other notable performances on offense. One was Conor Gillaspie, getting his first start with the team, who went 2-3 and scored 2 of the team's 4 runs. He's very quickly becoming someone to keep your eye on in terms of future potential with the ball club. Also Alejandro De Aza, whose 1 hit drove in the 4th (and eventual game-winning) run for the south siders.
Donnie Veal (W, 1-0) bridged the gap to the later-inning fellas after Axelrod's day was done. First, it was Nate Jones and Matt Thornton, who each let up a run (2-run Michael Saunders home run) before Jesse Crain and Addison Reed (S, 3) finished off the ball game.
The White Sox move to 3-2 on the season and can go for their second straight series win tomorrow as Chris Sale takes on the 31 year-old Hisashi Iwakuma, whose in his 2nd MLB season since coming overseas from Japan.