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Cordell helps White Sox 'squeeze' out a victory

Perfectly executed bunt plates go-ahead run in 8th-inning rally
@scottmerkin
May 17, 2019

CHICAGO -- The call for a squeeze bunt came from White Sox third-base coach Nick Capra to Ryan Cordell with runners on first and third and one out in the eighth inning of a 4-2 White Sox victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. In

CHICAGO -- The call for a squeeze bunt came from White Sox third-base coach Nick Capra to Ryan Cordell with runners on first and third and one out in the eighth inning of a 4-2 White Sox victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

In the previous three pitches from Toronto reliever Derek Law, Cordell twice received the sign for a safety squeeze and once to swing away.

“That one ended up being a ball,” Cordell said of the swing away.

Box score

So, when the bunt call came through, Cordell wanted to make sure.

“I ran it through my head three times,” he said.

Cordell’s bunt was executed perfectly, allowing Yolmer Sánchez to score the go-ahead run in a 2-2 game. Sanchez and Charles Tilson singled to set up the rally.

Manager Rick Renteria could have stuck with Cordell taking his hacks. But with the White Sox having faith in closer Alex Colomé protecting even the slimmest of margins against the offensively challenged Blue Jays, Renteria wanted to make sure he got the one run.

“You've got to give Cordell a ton of credit because he's the one in the box in that situation, in the heat of the moment,” Renteria said. “It's not anything that I did. He's the one that executed the play. I just asked for him to do something and he executed.”

“A couple weeks ago I had opportunities to lay bunts down, even for base hits,” Cordell said. “That’s never been part of my game, but any way you can get on base, get a rally going, for instance tonight, get a run in and help the team out, you have to make it happen.”

There was a chance for the White Sox to take the lead in the seventh after Cordell and Leury Garcia singled. Yoan Moncada showed bunt on the first pitch, but he eventually popped out, and Jose Abreu grounded out to third on a great barehanded grab and throw by Brandon Drury.

Abreu looked as if he beat the play at first, but the White Sox had used and lost their challenge on a Welington Castillo foul tip for strike three in the fifth. That call was ruled as stands.

Yonder Alonso was intentionally walked to load the bases, and reliever Joe Biagini struck out Castillo to end the rally. Renteria explained postgame that the challenge on Castillo was he might have been hit by a pitch, which would have put two runners on base for Nicky Delmonico.

“When we potentially had the bases loaded with Pito [Abreu], it ended up putting me in a situation where I couldn't get that call overturned, and obviously that was a big point in the game as well,” Renteria said. “But these guys kept battling. Sometimes you get situations in which you're looking at plays to review, you have certain criteria. I took a chance on the criteria we had, and I tried it.”

White Sox starter Dylan Covey allowed one earned run over 5 2/3 innings and 84 pitches, while Marcus Stroman yielded one earned run over six innings for the Blue Jays. Covey hit his season high in innings as he works his way back into the rotation and bounced back from a loss in Toronto on Friday.

Freddy Galvis homered leading off the second, and Drury followed with a single. The Blue Jays didn’t have another hit, setting up Cordell’s fundamental victory.

“It was awesome,” Cordell said. “In the moment, just kind of locked in and focused on getting the job done. When I got to first base and looked in and see the dugout going nuts, that’s a real exciting thing.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.