Led by Keuchel, Chicago closed out a 5-2 homestand and improved its AL Central lead to a season-high 4 1/2 games over idle Cleveland. Adam Engel also went deep, and reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu hit two RBI doubles.
It was the first game for the White Sox since they placed second baseman Nick Madrigal on the injured list with a torn right hamstring. Madrigal got hurt when he tried to beat out a grounder in the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s 6-2 loss to Toronto.
Chicago has been hit hard by injuries this year, but it keeps rolling along.
The loss of Madrigal is “a big blow, but the games still count and we have to go forward,” manager Tony La Russa said.
“Speed. I am speed.” – Vladdy 🏎 <a href=”https://t.co/1aIJNyJEMj”>pic.twitter.com/1aIJNyJEMj</a>
Marcus Semien and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. each drove in a run for Toronto, which lost for the fourth time in six games. Hyun Jin Ryu (5-4) pitched six innings of three-run ball in his second straight loss.
Infield hits by Joe Panik and Santiago Espinal set up Semien’s two-out RBI single in the fifth. A mental gaffe by White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada paved the way for the Blue Jays’ second run in the sixth.
But Keuchel (5-1) escaped the jam by retiring Riley Adams on a fly ball to center with two runners on. Engel then hit his first homer of the season in the seventh, sending a solo drive deep to center against Anthony Castro.
After Keuchel departed, Evan Marshall and Codi Heuer each got three outs before Liam Hendriks worked the ninth for his AL-leading 16th save.
The White Sox got off to a fast start against Ryu, scoring three times in the first. Abreu doubled home Yermin Mercedes before Grandal hit an opposite-field drive to right for his 10th homer.