Once that grounder went into center field for May's first career Major League hit, his thought process took him to a more relieved level.
"Thank God," said May, who snapped an 0-for-26 stretch to start his career with the pinch-hit single. The hitless streak marks the second-longest by a White Sox non-pitcher to start his career. Randy Moore went 0-for-32 in 1927-28 before collecting his first hit.
"Yeah, it was kind of like having Harambe on my back," said May, drawing big laughs within the clubhouse. "I was in a chokehold, because I couldn't breathe as well. Now that he's gone, hopefully I can have a lot of success and help this team win. That's the ultimate goal: to help this team win. Anything I can do to help that out."
May hit for Melky Cabrera, who injured his left wrist going for a Jose Ramirez foul fly ball down the left-field line. White Sox manager Rick Renteria believed May didn't have time to think about anything when he stepped to the plate, and just reacted to the situation.
"Everybody was pumped up," Renteria said. "He just got a pitch out over the middle of the plate, and stayed within himself, and just drove it up the middle, which was nice to see. Obviously very excited for him."
"Yeah, it was kind of a perfect storm. It all kind of sped up on me," May said. "I had a feeling when Melky ran into that fence to kind of get ready. So I started stretching and moving a little bit. It was one of those situations where you didn't have time to think."
The crowd of 32,044 gave May a standing ovation. Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana congratulated the 25-year-old, the White Sox dugout erupted and Yolmer Sanchez held the ball up for all to see after it was tossed to the dugout.
White Sox first base coach Daryl Boston looked at May with a smile and said, "Finally," according to May. Once May got back into the dugout, he let loose by screaming into his helmet.
"I kind of soaked it all in," May said. "It was probably one of the most surreal, best experiences of my life."
Unfortunately, May didn't celebrate in the moment with his family. They didn't come to the game after May told them he wasn't in the starting lineup. His mom actually was helping May get situated in his new Chicago home.
"I'm going to go home and soak it in with them, and have a good home-cooked meal," May said. "It's not going to be the last time I go through struggles. It's good to go through that, and learn it at the highest level."