Nicky Delmonico’s charmed season continued with his second two-homer game in three tries, and this one was with feeling.
The first homer put the White Sox ahead 3-2.
The second homer put the White Sox ahead 4-3.
And it was an inside-the-park job, too.
Delmonico helped the White Sox return some heartache to the Rangers in the eighth inning when his deep drive to right hit the wall just before Nomar Mazara did. The ball returned toward the infield, though, while Mazara laid on the warning track in pain. Rougned Odor got to the ball first and made a valiant throw home, but not in time to get the diving Delmonico.
That turned out to be the key run because Rick Renteria found a functional-enough bullpen combination for the evening.
Gregory Infante picked up the win by pitching 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings. He also picked up the blown save because it’s a stupid stat for setup men and nobody should ever use it for somebody who never pitches the ninth. He inherited runners on second and third with one out in the seventh and gave up a game-tying groundout, which is why he has a BS “BS” next to his name. But he stranded the go-ahead run, then pitched a 1-2-3 inning to retire all five he faced on a tidy 16 pitches.
Juan Minaya wasn’t as tidy in the ninth. He walked the leadoff man, and should’ve walked Mike Napoli, who chased a high fastball out of the zone for strike two before grounding out to third with the runner moving. That put the tying run in scoring position only for Minaya to fall behind Odor 2-0, but Odor popped out to short for the second out, and Minaya finished the game with a strikeout of Robinson Chirinos. His first career save snapped the White Sox’ five-game losing streak.
It also preserved Delmonico’s heroics. A day after his career-starting on-base streak ended at 13 games, Delmonico dusted himself off by reaching base thrice and factoring into all three scoring innings.
In the first, he drew a two-out walk with a Leury Garcia on third to keep the inning alive, and Garcia came home on an Odor error for a 1-0 White Sox lead. After the Sox fell behind 2-1, Delmonico put them back ahead by following a Jose Abreu single with a blast to right.
James Shields and his kitchen-sink approach worked well enough for a third straight start. He held the Rangers to a two-run Napoli homer over 5 1/3 innings, with an assist from Aaron Bummer. He left runners on first and second for Bummer after allowing a single and a walk with one out, but Bummer got Joey Gallo to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam.
Renteria used Bummer to start the seventh, and that wasn’t such a good idea, as he walked Napoli to start the inning. He came back to strike out Odor to end his night on a high note, but the runner came around to score two batters (and pitchers) later. Chirinos doubled off Mike Pelfrey, and Delino DeShields hit a run-scoring groundout to second.
DeShields kept the game closer than it could’ve been. He made a charging, sliding catch on an Adam Engel flare with the bases loaded and two outs in the second, then made a nice running grab to chase down Alen Hansen’s drive to the gap with runners on first and second in the ighth.
Record: 46-73 | Box score