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Jun 24, 2024 2:54 am

White Sox send bright spot Garrett Crochet to face Dodgers

Garrett Crochet

Garrett Crochet has been one of the few success stories this season for the Chicago White Sox, who begin a three-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.

After serving exclusively as a reliever in his first three seasons, Crochet (6-6, 3.25 ERA) has made a seamless transition to a starting role.

The 25-year-old Crochet is set to make his first career start (he’s 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA in two relief appearances) against the Dodgers, who have won five of their past seven and own the National League’s second-best record at 48-31.

The White Sox have the majors’ worst record (21-58) and have lost 28 of their past 35 games, but Crochet leads the American League with 124 strikeouts and has gone 5-2 with a 1.68 ERA in his past 10 starts.

“He’s a really smart kid, but how fast he’s picked up the starting game is pretty remarkable,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He understands their job is to go deep in games and he understands how to economize pitches and how to minimize damage. That’s remarkable considering the lack of experience he has as a starter. What he’s doing this year is spectacular in my eyes.”

Crochet is looking to bounce back after allowing three runs over six innings in a 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

“They found some holes, but I give him a lot of credit to be able to stand out there in the sixth inning with 85 pitches,” Grifol said.

Crochet will be challenged by a Dodgers lineup led by designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, who has been unstoppable since taking over for injured star Mookie Betts as the team’s leadoff hitter last week.

Ohtani has scored at least one run and recorded an RBI in seven straight games, tying Reggie Smith’s Dodgers record from 1978. He is batting .321 with 23 home runs and 57 RBIs.

“(Ohtani) is leading the league in hitting, leading the (National) league in home runs, he’s right there in runs driven in — it’s pretty special,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The last few weeks, there just hasn’t been a player better.”

The Dodgers’ deep lineup also includes left fielder Teoscar Hernandez, who is batting .254 with 18 homers and 54 RBIs in his first season with the club.

“I’ve said it before, he reminds me a little bit of Manny Ramirez in the sense that when guys are on base, certainly with runners in scoring position, he’s even better,” Roberts said. “We’ve seen that all year from him. He’s sneaky been the MVP of our club.”

Left-hander James Paxton (7-1, 3.65) will take the mound for Los Angeles in the series opener. He turned in his best outing of the season last Monday, allowing one run on two hits over seven innings in a 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Paxton, 35, has yielded a total of two runs and four hits across 13 innings in his past two starts.

Andrew Benintendi is 2-for-10 against Paxton, who is 2-0 with a 3.14 ERA in six career starts versus the White Sox.

Chicago welcomed Eloy Jimenez back to the lineup in its 11-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday after the designated hitter missed 29 games with a hamstring injury. Jimenez went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

The White Sox will be monitoring Jimenez’s status after he said that he experienced soreness in his hamstring during the game Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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