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updated: 5/6/2014 12:45 AM

Semien's double caps big day for White Sox

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  • Alexei Ramirez looks back after scoring on a double by Marcus Semien to break a 1-1 tie in the 12th inning Monday night at Wrigley Field.

      Alexei Ramirez looks back after scoring on a double by Marcus Semien to break a 1-1 tie in the 12th inning Monday night at Wrigley Field.
    Associated Press

 
 

When Marcus Semien came to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs in the 12th inning Monday night, the White Sox liked their chances.

"In late innings, he's tough," manager Robin Ventura. "He stays in there, hangs in there, no matter what's happened earlier. He can have some at-bats that look real ugly, but you get some guys on base and he's been able to come through."

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Before he doubled into the left-field corner off Cubs relief pitcher Justin Grimm to snap a 1-1 tie and lift the Sox to a 3-1 win at Wrigley Field, Semien did look a little bit lost at the plate.

In fairness, so did most hitters on either side, North or South.

"With the wind blowing in, it was tough to score," Ventura said.

But Semien continued to be a tough out when the game's on the line, and that continued against the Cubs.

"It's an at-bat to help the team win, so you always feel good about it," he said. "You want to continue to stay locked in those situations."

Semien, who has been getting a regular shift at third base with Conor Gillaspie on the disabled list, has 3 home runs this season. All of them have given the White Sox the lead in the seventh inning or later.

"I just try to do the same thing every time,' he said. "Sometimes it works like that. It's still early in the season, so I'd like to put together good at-bats at all points of the game. But now it's just happening late."

Sox starter Jose Quintana was the big story before Semien's late heroics.

Taking advantage of the cold, windy conditions, the left-hander had a no-hitter going until Cubs counterpart Jeff Samardzija led off the sixth inning with a double, advanced to third on Emilio Bonifacio's sacrifice and scored on Junior Lake's sacrifice fly.

That tied the game at 1-1.

Quintana went 7 innings and allowed 1 run on 1 hit and 3 walks.

"He was great," Ventura said. "Both pitchers were great. Q had a little extra life on it today."

Jose Abreu opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly off Samardzija in the first inning. It was the 35th RBI of the season for the White Sox' first baseman.

Before the game, Abreu became the first player in American League history -- and second overall -- to be named Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month in his first month in the major leagues. Last year Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig claimed double honors in June.

"I thank the Lord to be able to achieve this, and it's obviously something that makes me happy," Abreu said through a translator. "And I'm thanking my teammates as well. It's a great thing. I'm very humbled to get that honor."

Abreu has taken the majors by storm, not that he was planning on being so good so fast after defecting from Cuba.

"Maybe not nervous, but I had a little anxiety of getting to know baseball here in the United States," Abreu said. "It was just anxiety to go through it and be able to experience it. Now, one month into it, it's a great thing. I'm excited."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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