ST. PETERSBURG -- Lucas Giolito started, Jose Abreu supported and Yoan Moncada finished a 3-2 White Sox victory in 10 innings Friday night at Tropicana Field, marking a second straight win for the South Siders.Moncada came to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs in the
ST. PETERSBURG -- Lucas Giolito started, Jose Abreu supported and Yoan Moncada finished a 3-2 White Sox victory in 10 innings Friday night at Tropicana Field, marking a second straight win for the South Siders.
Moncada came to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs in the 10th inning following an intentional walk to Tim Anderson. The switch-hitting second baseman was turned around to hit right-handed against southpaw reliever Jose Alvarado, a side of the plate where Moncada was only batting .167 with six extra-base hits in 109 plate appearances entering Friday.
But Moncada connected with a double to left on a 2-1 fastball from Alvarado, scoring pinch-runner Adam Engel with the game-winning run, despite Anderson being thrown out at the plate.
"I just thought, 'This is my chance. This is my chance. I have to take advantage of it,'" said Moncada through interpreter Billy Russo. "Just try to make a good swing, good contact and I did it. I went [up there] to swing in that at-bat. That was the mindset."
While local product Tyler Danish earned a special win in relief, it was Giolito and Abreu who set up the chance for victory. And there was a time, not too long ago, when neither Giolito nor Abreu seemed destined for a completely productive 2018 season.
Their struggles appear to be fading memories. Giolito turned in his fifth quality start over his last seven trips to the mound, allowing two hits and one run over seven-plus innings, striking out six and walking three. Abreu provided offensive support with a two-run homer to left with one out in the sixth.
As of June 22, Giolito's ERA still sat a shade over 7.00. Abreu, who was the American League All-Star team's starter at first base, had fallen into a rare prolonged slump, dropping his average to .250 as of July 22.
Abreu, who had two hits, is hitting .395 with five homers, 10 RBIs and seven multi-hit efforts over his last 11 games. Giolito watched his ERA drop to 5.97, the first time it has been below 6.00 since April 12, although he struggled to throw strikes during his pregame bullpen.
"It was one of those days where I got warmed up and it was, 'Let's see what happens,'" Giolito said. "[Catcher Omar Narvaez] did a really good job. We mixed it up really good -- threw a lot of changeups, mixing in curveballs and sliders.
"We did a good job keeping them off balance, and the defense -- especially the infield defense -- was spectacular behind me. [Anderson] with a really nice play. [Abreu] with a couple of really nice grabs at first base. Overall it was a good team win."
Giolito threw 29 changes, 11 curves and 12 sliders, while picking up 11 swinging strikes and 23 called strikes overall per Statcast™.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Danish's triumphant return: Danish grew up 45 minutes from Tropicana Field and visited the ballpark with his mother and father as a young fan. His mom, his girlfriend and many other friends and family members were in attendance as he struck out Jesus Sucre with the winning run at third and two outs in the ninth in his only batter faced.
"My phone is kind of blowing up right now," Danish said. "It's an amazing feeling to come home and do that in front of all them. A lot of those people supported me during tough times and the good times. This is an emotional one to have."
Hector Santiago picked up the fifth save of his career, with the previous four all coming in 2012 when he opened Robin Ventura's first managerial season as the team's closer. He went 215 appearances (137 starts) between saves, with his last one coming on April 22, 2012, at Seattle. He become the seventh White Sox pitcher with a save this season.
HE SAID IT
"Amazing. Jeter-like." -- Giolito, when asked about Anderson's great play in the fifth to take away a hit from Daniel Robertson
"No. That was TA-like." -- A smiling Anderson, countering Giolito's depiction
Left-hander Carlos Rodon makes his 10th start of the season and sixth on the road during Saturday's contest at Tropicana Field, with a 5:10 p.m. CT first pitch. Blake Snell gets the call for the Rays. Rodon is limiting opponents to a .193 average and is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings over his last four starts, allowing just 15 hits.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.