Trayce Thompson salvaged what looked to be an ugly night for the White Sox on Tuesday.
The rookie outfielder doubled in the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning and finished with three hits and the White Sox rebounded from a series of mistakes to top the Boston Red Sox 5-4 in front of 14,393 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Thompson, who finished a home run shy of the cycle, drove in three runs as the White Sox won their fourth in six tries.
“(Thompson is) on a nice run,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He belongs here and he knows that. The way he’s taking his at-bats, he’s going up there being aggressive and confidence is high with him right now.”
The White Sox have tried to put Thompson in the best position for success since his Aug. 3 promotion from Triple-A Charlotte. So far he’s mostly faced left-handed pitchers as only six at-bats have come against righties.
Thompson has torched southpaw pitchers with 10 hits in 17 at-bats, including a career-high three against Boston starter Wade Miley on Tuesday.
The last of the trio salvaged what had been a miserable night for the White Sox. They had already run into two of three outs on the bases, stranded eight runners and committed two errors.
But Thompson made it moot when he ripped a 1-0 fastball from Miley into the left-field corner to drive in Melky Cabrera, who had singled in a run, and Avisail Garcia, who walked with two outs.
“Here it’s all about getting in the game,” Thompson said. “If you can help the team win you’re going to get in the game. You always have to stay ready, you never know if they’re going to have a left-hander down there and if Robin wants to use you or not. My routine I think has helped me a lot and I haven’t changed it. It’s helped me a lot and helped me have success.”
Jose Quintana helped keep the White Sox close enough for Thompson’s heroics.
Boston took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a Keystone Cops routine by Geovany Soto and Quintana, both of whom left home plate unattended when they chased after a bad relay throw home on Mookie Betts’ RBI double, which allowed Betts to score the go-ahead run.
Quintana — who allowed seven hits and four runs (three earned) with six strikeouts in six innings — allowed two more runs in the sixth inning to fall behind 4-2. But he kept Boston from blowing it open with strikeouts of David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez.
“That’s really important because you put your team in a situation for the comeback,” Quintana said. “They did and we came back, Thompson had a really good at-bat and we won.”
The White Sox offense missed opportunities in the early going and gave away three more.
They pulled ahead 1-0 in the second inning on Carlos Sanchez’s two-out RBI single but could have had much, much more. Thompson had a leadoff triple in the second but was thrown out at home on a grounder to third (the contact play was on). Soto followed with a single but was thrown out advancing to third on Sanchez’s single to end the inning. Sanchez also ran into an out in the eighth to give the White Sox a major league-best 59.
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Down by a run, the White Sox opened the fourth inning with three straight singles, the last by Thompson to tie it. But Miley got a force at third on Alexei Ramirez’s bunt and pitched out of trouble.
The White Sox stranded another runner in the fifth and two more in the sixth inning as they fell behind Boston 4-2.
But Thompson’s confidence erased it all.
Ventura said Thompson would see more playing time in the future. Thompson became the youngest White Sox player since Ventura on April 15, 1990 to have a single, double and triple in the same game.
“(Playing time is) going to get there,” Ventura said. “The last at-bat was a big one for us.
“You don’t like seeing what we did earlier. … We kicked it around tonight, and I think the offense did enough to overcome it.”