ARLINGTON -- Nicky Delmonico finished the White Sox 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Park batting .382 with five home runs and 11 RBIs after hitting two homers and driving in three.There's a very strong chance Delmonico won't hit at a near-.400 clip over the
ARLINGTON -- Nicky Delmonico finished the White Sox 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Park batting .382 with five home runs and 11 RBIs after hitting two homers and driving in three.
There's a very strong chance Delmonico won't hit at a near-.400 clip over the next two weeks, let alone the rest of his career. But in just 15 games and 55 at-bats since joining the team, Delmonico has shown an "it factor," as dubbed by White Sox manager Rick Renteria, which gives the feel of something special in both the present and future.
"There are certain people that have a quality about them that you can't define or describe. You just know they have 'it,'" Renteria said. "And he's one of those people. There is a specialness to him. He's a genuinely loving baseball player, and it's showing. He's finding himself, and it's good to see."
"He's having fun," said White Sox starting pitcher James Shields, who finished with his 66th no-decision since 2011. "He's playing really loose, and you don't see that very often in young kids who come up and make an impact the way he has. But he has a lot of confidence in his ability, and he's doing a great job with his routine every day."
Delmonico posted the second multi-homer game of his career -- and the second in his last three starts. He homered off Andrew Cashner in the sixth, but the more talked-about effort was the inside-the-park shot he hit leading off the eighth against Ricardo Rodriguez.
On a first-pitch slider, Delmonico ripped one over the head of right fielder Nomar Mazara. The ball barely eluded Mazara's leaping effort, and with Mazara temporarily injured, Delmonico raced around the bases as second baseman Rougned Odor retrieved the ball in right field.
Thoughts of Delmonico's second inside-the-park home run this season -- his first came with Triple-A Charlotte -- didn't cross his mind until late in the process.
"Gosh, maybe rounding third base. I felt like I ran out of gas right before, but luckily I was able to score," Delmonico said. "I thought maybe there was a chance for me to be out, but luckily I beat [Odor's throw]."
"Pretty exciting," Renteria said. "I was watching the ball as it was deflecting off the wall, unfortunately for Mazara; I know he went down. I wouldn't wish that upon anybody. Once it deflected and you saw Mazara down, you saw Odor beeline to the baseball. Nicky did a nice job of coming out of the box well, and continued to run hard throughout."
Joe Borchard was the last White Sox rookie to hit an inside-the-park homer, on Sept. 9, 2002, at Kansas City. It was the first by a White Sox player overall since Brett Lawrie on June 25, 2016, against the Blue Jays and the second in Arlington this season, with Delmonico joining Joey Gallo (June 21).
Over his last 11 plate appearances, the man with the "it factor" has four home runs.
"I got comfortable with these guys this spring. I felt like when I got here, I picked up where I left off," Delmonico said. "I just feel like I'm good with my approach right now. I'm getting good pitches to hit and just trying to barrel up everything I can."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.