Moncada's heroics deliver sweep of 'Stros

August 11th, 2017

CHICAGO -- played hero for the first time with a game-tying blast and followed it up with a walk-off single, giving the White Sox their second series sweep of the season as they knocked off the Astros, 3-2, in 11 innings at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday.

"It was something indescribable," said Moncada through interpreter Billy Russo. "All my emotions were to the roof when I hit that ball and then when I was running the bases. It was something unique."

Despite their skid in the Windy City -- which included matching a season-high losing streak of three games to culminate a 4-10 stretch -- the Astros hold a 13-game lead over the Mariners in the American League West.

• Moncada comes up clutch

Ranked the top prospect by MLBPipeline.com, Moncada tied the ballgame in the ninth with a one-out, opposite-field homer off Houston closer . The ball, which traveled a projected 374 feet according to Statcast™, was Moncada's second homer as a member of the White Sox and was just Giles' third blown save of the season in 25 attempts.

"I threw a good pitch," Giles said of the homer. "I looked at the video, right on the outside corner where I wanted it on the black. Got to tip my cap off to him. He put a good swing on it and drove it the other way. Nothing I can do. Can't really be mad about it. Good pitch, good swing. Hats off to him."

• Swept in Chicago, Astros amid rare skid

The 98.7-mph fastball that Moncada took deep was the second-hardest pitch that's been hit for a homer by a White Sox player this season. Moncada is the first White Sox rookie since Joe Crede on Aug. 27, 2002, to drive in the game-tying run in the ninth and walk it off in extra innings.

"Obviously that's big," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He ties and he wins it with a base hit there late. He did a nice job, was taking some good swings. Even when he hit the homer, it was obviously a very good at-bat."

The comeback spoiled a strong performance from Astros starter Brad Peacock, who pitched into the seventh inning for the first time since July 18. The right-hander, who now has a 3.46 ERA as a starter, relied heavily on his slider and threw it on 43 of his 93 pitches, drawing eight swings-and-misses on it. He was efficient while pitching to contact, allowing just three batted balls with exit velocities of 100 mph or more, according to Statcast™.

 "I had a good slider tonight, so I just relied on it," Peacock said. "Got a couple big outs, a big strikeout there. Just felt good."

It proved to be a much-needed salve for an Astros rotation that entered Thursday ranked 26th in the Majors with a 5.76 ERA since the All-Star break. In that span, the first-place Astros are just 11-14, including losses in 10 of their past 14 games.

The Astros got their lone runs on a solo homer and double -- which tied him with for the team lead in RBIs (67) -- but couldn't avoid being swept for just the second time this season.

was brilliant once again for the White Sox, picking up strong momentum after once again facing a top-tier opponent. Each of the last five teams he's faced -- the Dodgers, Cubs, Indians, Red Sox and now Astros -- have been in first place in their respective divisions. With Rodon allowing a pair of runs and striking out four over a career-high-tying eight innings Thursday, he's now allowed nine earned runs and struck out 35 batters over his last four starts (26 1/3 innings).

"That's the goal, is to go and attack," Rodon said. "That's the game plan, let them swing it and defense do the work. Strikeouts happen. The ball was sinking good and [catcher] Omar [Narvaez] had a good game plan, and the defense was outstanding."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Costly E-9: The White Sox got off to a great start in the 11th, as singled past into right field to get the rally going. bobbled the ball in right field, and Garcia broke for second base after a slight hesitation and reached safely. That set the stage for Moncada.

"My mind was set to look for a fastball, because it wasn't the best pitch for them," said Moncada, who also hit a fastball for the game-tying home run. "I was ready for it."

Walking the tightrope: Astros reliever Luke Gregerson ran into some trouble up 2-1 in the eighth inning after and Nicky Delmonico reached on an infield single and an error from Astros catcher , respectively, to put a pair on with no one out. Each got into scoring position, but Gregerson got out of the jam by striking out and and getting pinch-hitter to ground out to first with the bases loaded.

"We needed to find a way to win the game," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We did escape a lot of innings that they put runners on base, and this game could have easily turned our way by pushing across a couple runs. Obviously there at the end, we made some mistakes."

QUOTABLE

"We're getting beat up a little bit. We've got to figure out ourselves before we really worry about what kind of situation we're in. I think the mentality of our team is strong enough. Obviously we get a chance to get a fresh start, new series [on Friday vs. the Rangers]. These games are taking a lot out of our guys, and we're getting beat up, but we'll figure it out. We've got a good group in there and we're being tested." -- Hinch, on his team's 4-10 stretch

"My only wish is just to stay healthy and to be able to play every day and do my best on the field." -- Moncada, on whether he believes superstardom is in his future

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Delmonico's sixth-inning single made him the first White Sox player since Joe Gates in 1978-79 to reach base in each of his first nine Major League games.

Thursday marked the first time all season that a White Sox catcher had thrown out a basestealer at third base. Narvaez's throw to get in the second inning snapped an 0-for-14 skid for Chicago, and left the Pirates (0-for-13) and Angels (0-for-2) as the only remaining clubs who haven't thrown out a runner at third this season.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

With Narvaez on second base and one out in the seventh, Astros reliever hit Garcia with a bouncing breaking ball. Houston challenged that the ball didn't graze Garcia, but the call on the field stood.

WHAT'S NEXT

Astros:Charlie Morton (9-4, 3.78 ERA) gets the call as the 'Stros continue their road trip on Friday in Texas against the Rangers at 7:05 p.m. CT. The right-hander has a 3.27 ERA in two appearances vs. the Rangers.

White Sox: makes his debut for the South Siders in the first game of a weekend series against the Royals on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, with a first pitch of 7:10 p.m. CT. Lopez, who is ranked the club's No. 6 prospect and No. 59 overall in the Majors by MLBPipeline.com, fanned 63 in his last 46 2/3 innings for Triple-A Charlotte.

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