No products in the cart.
This certainly looked like a battle between two last-place teams, but the White Sox ended up on top for once thanks to a dramatic turn of events in the eighth inning.
Don’t confuse “dramatic” for “high-quality,” because nothing about the eighth inning was. The Rangers extended their lead to 2-0 in the top of the inning with the worst triple. Nomar Mazara chopped it over the head of Jose Abreu and down the right-field line, away from every shifted fielder. Shin-Soo Choo scored all the way from first and Mazara took third, with help from a bounced throw in from Trayce Thompson to cutoff man Yoan Moncada.
But on “Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit” t-shirt night, the White Sox answered with the worst rally.
They had two outs and Jose LeClerc on the mound when Yoan Moncada rifled a ball into the right-field corner. He came all the way around, but had to return to second after Mazara held his arms up and didn’t attempt to retrieve a ball stuck under the padding.
Moncada scored anyway, because he took third on a wild pitch and came home on the White Sox’ own chopper. Yolmer Sanchez bounced one off the plate that took a while to come down to LeClerc, and his throw to first sailed into the line of the runner and into right-field foul territory. Moncada tallied and Sanchez took second as the Sox trailed 2-1.
Jeff Banister called for an intentional walk to Abreu, and it should’ve paid off because LeClerc locked up Nicky Delmonico with an excellent 3-2 curveball after a prolonged battle. Home plate umpire Paul Nauert granted Delmonico a reprieve by calling it a ball, and the bases were loaded for Matt Davidson.
Davidson fell behind 0-2 after swinging over a slider and taking another one for a strike. Four sliders later, he drove in the game-tying run with a walk. Banister came out to pull LeClerc, and after doing so, chewed out Nauert and earned an ejection.
Enter Kevin Jepsen, no stranger to surrendering game-winning runs to the White Sox.
Kevin Jepsen time! https://t.co/x4q6FVzfh4
— Jim Margalus (@SoxMachine) May 18, 2018
Jepsen came through by leaving a fastball out over the plate that Welington Castillo muscled into right center for a two-run single that gave the Sox their first lead of the game on their only hit with runners in scoring position.
Nate Jones made it interesting by plunking the first batter he faced and giving up a one-out single, but he benefited from another iffy no-call by Nauert (Ronald Guzman thought he chopped the ball off his foot; Nauert didn’t see it), and struck out Delino DeShields to end the game.
Through seven innings, it looked like the Sox once again had nothing for the home fans. They let short-notice starter Doug Fister push them around, getting only six singles. Moncada had two of them, and he was erased twice (one pickoff, one hit-and-run lineout).
Janes Shields was almost as tough, as he tied Reynaldo Lopez for longest start by a White Sox pitcher this season. He lasted 7 1/3, and the only damage he suffered was a manufactured run in the third (single, bunt, single through the middle). Otherwise, he struck out eight Rangers with his full bag of tricks, and rewarded Rick Renteria’s trust by stranding a runner on third in the seventh with a soft comebacker and a strikeout.
Shields had to settle for the no-decision. Luis Avilan, who gave up the second run while just recording two outs, got the win, although the triple was so cheap that he might’ve deserved it.
*The White Sox were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but the Rangers were 1-for-8. That accurately reflects their order at the bottom of the American League in this category.
*Leury Garcia made a diving catch in center field to end the eighth, saving a third Rangers run.
*Otherwise, it was another shaky effort by the White Sox defensively. Shields had to pitch past two botched double-play attempts in the fifth. Tim Anderson had problems starting a 5-6-3 double play with the shift, and Abreu dropped Yoan Moncada’s throw from second on what should’ve been a well-turned 5-4-3.
*The White Sox are now 4-15 at home.
*If you didn’t get the shirt, you can support Sox Machine by buying the Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit raglan.
Record: 11-29 | Box score