Avi sails! Garcia robs another homer
CHICAGO -- The .264 average, seven homers and 33 RBIs through 348 at-bats don't exactly represent Avisail Garcia's ideal offensive output during his first full season in the Majors.
And while his defense hasn't been letter perfect, he has helped the White Sox with some big plays in right field. One of those came during Saturday night's 8-2 victory over the Yankees, a score that might not have been so one-sided without Garcia.
With two on and nobody out in the third, Didi Gregorius lofted a fly ball to right off John Danks that looked as if it would carry over the fence for a home run that would have erased a 2-0 White Sox lead.
Garcia moved to the wall, leaped and turned Gregorius' long drive into a sacrifice fly. He made the same sort of play against Baltimore's Chris Davis on July 4, only in the ninth inning of a one-run game.
So it was easy for Garcia to pick which play was more difficult.
"That other one," said Garcia, referring to the Davis play. "This one was going, too. But I was there on time like the other one. The other one was really going out. You have to run and see where's your position to the fence so you can jump a little bit."
Garcia's catch on Saturday set the tone for an outstanding night with the leather by the White Sox.
Carlos Sanchez made a couple of good plays at second base, including a run-saver in the sixth on Brian McCann's hard-hit, two-out grounder destined for right field with runners on first and third. He teamed with Alexei Ramirez in the eighth to turn a highlight-reel double play on Chris Young.
Prior to the game, Jeff Samardzija pointed out how the defense was a bit underrated during Chicago's run of eight wins in 10 games. Then, that defense went out and backed up Samardzija's point against the American League East leaders.
"We've had our issues early on in the year defensively," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Part of that is we know we're going to be able to pitch and our guys go out there and they're trusting the defense.
"You can't be afraid to throw strikes and be able to let the defense work. Especially our infield right now. We feel pretty good about it in being able to turn hard-hit balls into outs and some of them into double plays."