CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia called his All-Star appearance in Miami life-changing. In Sunday's 7-6 extra-innings loss against Seattle, he showed he's still the same dominant force, with his second multi-homer game of the season.It was the sixth multi-homer game of Garcia's career and first since May 20, when he homered
CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia called his All-Star appearance in Miami life-changing. In Sunday's 7-6 extra-innings loss against Seattle, he showed he's still the same dominant force, with his second multi-homer game of the season.
It was the sixth multi-homer game of Garcia's career and first since May 20, when he homered twice at Safeco Field, also against the Mariners in a 16-1 win.
Garcia knocked both homers in the first three innings off Mariners starter Andrew Moore, continuing his hot start to the second half of the season after a sore left knee and a sprained right middle finger caused him to go 1-for-31 entering the break.
Healthy and rejuvenated from his time in Miami, Garcia went 5-for-13 over three games - including Sunday's 2-for-5 performance -- with a pair of homers against Seattle to open the season's second half.
"I think that the All-Star break might have given him a little charge, made him feel a little better," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "We're glad his knee is feeling good and his hand is feeling good, that he's continuing to put together some obviously very good at-bats."
The 26-year-old right fielder led off the second inning by taking Moore's first pitch, an 80.4-mph slider, 422 feet to right center field, as projected by Statcast™, to open up the scoring. It was his first homer since June 20, and first at Guaranteed Rate Field since May 13 against the Padres.
He came up again with one out in the third and Jose Abreu on first base and drove a 3-1 changeup to left field, admiring his shot as it traveled 415 feet, as projected by Statcast™, to extend Chicago's lead to 5-0.
"Staying and tracking on baseballs when they leave them where they shouldn't, putting a pretty good swing on them," Renteria said of the homers. "He's a pretty strong guy."
Garcia has now tied his career high with 13 homers this season, matching his entire 2015 total in just 81 games. He's five away from matching his career-best of 59 RBIs, also from 2015, and his .313 average and .867 OPS are both well above his career averages. After a career-shifting performance in the first half of the season, Garcia said he's determined to show his first 3 1/2 months and trip to the All-Star Game were no fluke.
"It's big," Garcia said. "I had fun over there, enjoyed my days over there. It's time to get ready, two more months in the second half. I'm trying to help my team win [and keep it going.]"
Renteria said he's seen a changed Garcia all season, and that Sunday's outburst was an indicator his elevated performance was here to stay.
"He's a young man who's continuing to mature and get more and more comfortable in his own skin," Renteria said. "The confidence that comes with becoming an All-Star certainly plays a part in that. I think it's something he's going to be able to build upon and keep moving forward and hopefully it's a part of who he's going to become perpetually moving forward."
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago who covered the White Sox on Sunday.