Sox strike out a lot, but offense shows up at key times
The White Sox struck out a whopping 14 times against Detroit on Sunday, but they showed just enough plate discipline from the sixth inning on to draw some critical walks that helped lead to a 6-2 victory.
"On-base percentage, free passes, all that stuff creates havoc," said manager Pedro Grifol. "It forces pitchers to make tough pitches in tough situations."
Cases in point:
• After Andrew Vaughn's two-out walk in the sixth loaded the bases, Yasmani Grandal came through with an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
• Then in the ninth, Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson drew back-to-back walks after Andrew Benintendi led off with a single and Gavin Sheets struck out. That loaded the bases and set the stage for Jake Burger, who launched a game-ending grand slam on a 1-0 curveball from Alex Lange.
Moncada, Benintendi and Sheets weren't in the starting lineup but helped pave the way for the Sox's 12th victory in the last 19 games.
"It's teaching everybody -- even if you don't start the game -- you can be a big factor," Grifol said. "Moncada's at bat was critical. So was Sheets' at-bat. I mean he ran the count 3-2. And 'Benny' obviously with the base hit.
"You know, these close games that we're playing are critical to ... the learning process of how to win these type of games."
Incredibly, Liam Hendricks, who just returned to the Sox after battling Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, picked up his first victory of the season on National Cancer Survivors Day.
"It's one of those scripts," said Hendricks, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two. "My wife today, she was like, 'You got your first win on National Cancer Survivors Day.' That's one thing that's pretty special.
"As soon as you get diagnosed, you are considered a survivor. You've lived through this. That's something hopefully I can continue moving forward and continue ... doing the right thing on the field and give some people some hope to continue fighting."
Around the horn:
The Sox placed infielder Hanser Alberto on waivers for the purpose of granting his unconditional release. If the 30-year-old Alberto (.220/.261/.390) clears he will likely report to Triple-A Charlotte. ... Umpire Cory Blaser, who was hit in the mask by a 96 mph pitch that ended Saturday's game, remained under evaluation and was not part of the umpiring crew at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday. The wild pitch allowed Yoan Moncada to score from third and gave the Sox a 2-1 victory over the Tigers. ... Tim Anderson's .353 career average against the Tigers is tied for fourth all time behind Joe Jackson (.383), Wade Boggs (.356) and George Sisler (.354). ... The White Sox will not face another AL Central team until after the all-star break (at Minnesota, July 21-23). ... Tigers starter Michael Lorenzen gave up just 3 runs (1 earned), 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 10 in 13⅔ innings in his last two games, both against the White Sox. He got a no-decision Saturday.