Brian Goodwin has proven to be a wise investment for the Chicago White Sox, who continue a three-game series against the crosstown Chicago Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field.
The 30-year-old journeyman was signed to a minor league contract in May and joined the major league club a month later.
Goodwin has served an important role as a fourth outfielder this season, but he’s quickly gaining trust as one of the team’s best options off the bench.
After blasting his first career walk-off homer in last Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Cleveland, Goodwin was at it again in Friday’s 10-inning, 8-6 win.
Goodwin belted a two-run homer off rookie Manuel Rodriguez in the 10th inning after the Cubs tied the game in the eighth on Andrew Romine’s three-run blast.
“Every day he plays, he does something,” manager Tony La Russa said. “When you write out the list of guys who have come through when we needed them the most, his name is as high up there as anybody.”
Friday’s win snapped a two-game skid for the White Sox, who have hit 49 home runs over the last 32 games.
The Cubs have dropped eight of their last 10 games and could use a strong outing from struggling right-hander Adbert Alzolay on Saturday (4-11, 4.85 ERA).
The promising 26-year-old is winless in his last nine starts (0-7) and ranks tied for second in the majors with 11 losses.
“I don’t think that’s indicative of his future at all,” manager David Ross said. “I think he’s a big part of what we need to have success here. We need starting pitching.”
Alzolay received a no-decision last Sunday, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings against Washington.
He faced the White Sox on Sept. 27, 2020, allowing one run on two hits with eight strikeouts over five innings in a 10-8 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.
White Sox starter Carlos Rodon (8-5, 2.49) lost his second straight start last Thursday, allowing four runs on eight hits with a season-low four strikeouts in four innings against Kansas City.
The 28-year-old left-hander is tied for third in the American League with 149 strikeouts but is 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA over his last six starts.
Rodon is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in four career games (three starts) across 14 innings against the Cubs.
The White Sox offense has struggled since the All-Star break but recorded 14 hits in Friday’s win. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez belted his 19th homer in the victory and has reached base safely in each of his seven games with the White Sox.
Outfielder Luis Robert, who has been out since May 2 with a right hip flexor tear, is continuing his injury rehab with Triple-A Charlotte and could rejoin the White Sox early next week.
The rebuilding Cubs had another new face in the lineup on Friday in outfielder Greg Deichmann, who made his major league debut and singled in the fourth inning for his first career hit.
The 26-year-old was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to replace Jason Heyward, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with left index finger inflammation.
–Field Level Media