Jimenez hits first grand slam as Chicago White Sox roll over Royals
When Eloy Jimenez was asked how good next year is going to be when he has a full season of major-league experience under his belt, he smiled and said: "Just wait. You will see."
When he looks back on his rookie season, the guess is Jimenez likes what he sees.
In the Chicago White Sox's 7-3 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, Jimenez hit his 25th home run of the season, tops among American League rookies. The homer was also the left fielder's first career grand slam.
"It was really good," Jimenez said of his first-inning drive to right field. "When you hit a grand slam, you know you helped your team."
Yoan Moncada connected on a 2-run homer in the seventh inning, a 452-foot blast to center field. It marked the first time Jimenez and Moncada hit home runs in the same game. The young duo have combined for 48 homers on the season.
"That is really good," Jimenez said. "That is the first of many to come."
The Sox won their 64th game Tuesday, two more than all of last season. Most likely, they'll finish with a losing record for the seventh straight year.
"We were shooting, truthfully, to try to be .500 and/or better," manager Rick Renteria said. "I'd be lying if I said I came in here thinking I want to have a losing season.
"That was not in the equation, but a lot of things happened along the way and you have to make adjustments. I still think that in spite of the numbers, we're showing improvement in many aspects.
"A lot of players have shown growth, which is huge for us. As we continue to move forward, I'm sure the organization as a whole, we're more ready now moving forward to try to put ourselves in a position to be able to compete the next coming seasons. That's the goal. None of us want to be in the same situation that we're in right now."
After having rotator-cuff surgery and missing the three-game weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels, manager Rick Renteria was back with the Sox on Tuesday.
"Just wear and tear over time," Renteria said. "I think this spring I made one extra throw that put me over the top. I guess it needed to be taken care of. I'm fine."
Renteria had to watch most of the game from the clubhouse since he is still recovering, but at least he was at the ballpark. After the game, bench coach Joe McEwing spoke to the media.
"The first couple of days I was probably a little bit out of it, but nobody likes leaving doing their job anywhere at anytime, in the middle," Renteria said. "In this case, it was just something I had to do. But I missed being here and seeing the guys and (bench coach) Joe and the staff. All of them do a great job, so I wasn't really worried about it."
Pitching coach Don Cooper was not at Tuesday night's game against the Royals after having a procedure on his hand.
With manager Rick Renteria limited and in a sling, Joe McEwing made the White Sox's pitching changes.