The nearly four-hour long affair was an odd one from the start as Keuchel, who has allowed one earned run in his last three outings, gave up a base hit to Leury Garcia on the first pitch, with the Braves falling behind in the top of the first inning after an RBI single by Yoan Moncada.
In six innings, Keuchel settled in and battled through the game’s slower pace, yielding two runs on nine hits, walking zero and striking out three.
“It was definitely a little different than what we have been used to, especially myself, I feel like I’m a bit more of a quick worker, but they made me work from the get-go,” Keuchel said. “First pitch was hit for a base hit. That’s always tough to kind of get in a groove. I was fortunate enough to make some pitches. But that’s not a really easy lineup to navigate.”
A single by second baseman Ozzie Albies, batting leadoff with outfielder Ronald Acuña out of the lineup, started things out as the Braves hopped on White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez from the get-go.
Atlanta scored six runs in the first inning, capped by a two-run single by Keuchel, before Lopez was pulled.
The game’s oddness continued when Freddie Freeman took a pitch to the left foot in the second inning but stayed in the game only to depart in the sixth. Per Snitker, Freeman was experiencing soreness in the foot and the manager took him out to be evaluated.
“Going to check him out when he comes in tomorrow,” Snitker said. “Just wanted to get him out and get him treated… the quicker I thought we get to him, the better chance we’ve got to get him in there tomorrow. But we’ll just have to wait and see how he is when he gets here.”
The White Sox cut the Braves’ lead to 7-5 after a messy seventh inning, with reliever Chris Martin giving up three runs (one earned) and Yolmer Sanchez scoring off a fielding error by Matt Joyce.
But Atlanta pulled away after a sacrifice fly by Acuña, who came in to pinch-hit with the bases loaded. A balk by White Sox reliever Kelvin Herrera, who then intentionally walked Albies, kept the bases loaded. After Dansby Swanson drew a walk and following a wild pitch by Herrera, Atlanta had regained its comfortable cushion, 10-5.
Josh Donaldson added a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
“I feel like if I had that answer, we’d never go into a little funk, but we’re just doing a good job,” Donaldson said of how to explain the recent burst of offense. “I feel like all year long, one thing I can say that we’ve done is have really good at-bats, from top to bottom. And we go out there, we grind guys down.”
The Braves will go for the sweep at 5:10 p.m. Sunday.