Los Angeles Angels

Nicky Delmonico's walk-off homer took him back to high school

Nicky Delmonico's walk-off homer took him back to high school

He’d only done it once before, but the instant Nicky Delmonico hit his walk-off homer on Wednesday night it took him right back.

The White Sox rookie added another highlight to a strong first season when he lifted his club to a 6-4 victory in 10 innings over the Los Angeles Angels with a two-run homer. Delmonico’s round-tripper off pitcher Blake Parker eliminated the Angels from the wild-card race. He said the moment was similar to when Delmonico blasted a game-winning home run in the 2010 Tennessee high school state title game.

“It’s pretty high up there,” Delmonico said. “Obviously, the biggest moment was being called up. But to be able to do that is something you dream about in the backyard.

“It kind of felt something similar (to the high school championship). Same pitch, too. It brought back memories.”

Delmonico has created a number of new memories in this his first season with the White Sox. He made his major league debut on Aug. 1 and reached base in a Sox record 13 straight games and 21 of 22 overall. While he had slowed down recently  -- he was 10 for his last 63 (.159)  in his previous 21 games -- Delmonico has turned in several nice plays in the field of late.

But his bat has begun to pick up again in the final week. Delmonico, who had two hits and two RBIs in Monday’s win, finished with three hits on Wednesday, including an RBI double in fourth inning.

None was bigger, however, than his two-run shot off Parker. Delmonico got ahead 2-1 in the count and with Avisail Garcia on second ripped a split-fingered fastball out to right.

“It was a nice moment,” manager Rick Renteria said.

Delmonico last accomplished a similar moment during his junior season at Farragut High School (Knoxville, Tenn.). On May 28, 2010, Delmonico lifted Farragut to a 3-1 victory over Houston High with a two-run shot in the seventh inning. While this one meant far more to the Minnesota Twins than his own team, Delmonico enjoyed the moment as well as the follow-up ice bath and beer shower equally.

“I can’t even describe it in words,” Delmonico said. “It’s awesome. It’s something you dream about and I guess it doesn’t really feel real right now. It was just an awesome moment for my teammates and me.

“It was just one of those where you just hope it goes out. I thought I got it good enough but I didn’t know until it went out.”

“It definitely felt like that moment in high school.”

Avisail Garcia's breakout season has him soaring up AL All-Star ballots

Avisail Garcia's breakout season has him soaring up AL All-Star ballots

After nearly four years, Avisail Garcia is finally starting to display the promise he showed when the White Sox targeted him as a key piece in three-team trade deadline deal with the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox back in 2013.

Through 53 games, the 26-year-old Garcia is slashing .330/.370/.532 with eight home runs and 38 RBI. Garcia has already matched a career-high in triples (3) and has a current career-best OPS of .902.

While he's shown a marked improvement at the plate, Garcia has also turned in a positive dWAR (0.3) for the first time in his career.

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The rest of MLB has taken notice of Garcia's breakout season as the White Sox outfielder is currently 5th in American League All-Star outfield voting.

Garcia has accumulated 479,439 votes, which puts him behind New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (1,251,543), Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (1,155,356), Cleveland Indians left fielder Michael Brantley (554,620) and Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (519,146). 

Garcia is the only White Sox player who currently ranks in the Top 5 at their respective position.

Check out the the latest AL ballot below:

Click here to vote for your favorite White Sox players to start in the All-Star Game.

White Sox fall to Angels, who complete series sweep

White Sox fall to Angels, who complete series sweep

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doesn’t seem to matter what the White Sox do at Angel Stadium. They just can’t beat the Los Angeles Angels.

Despite taking an early four-run lead, the White Sox went on to lose for the 14th time in 15 games at the place the locals call “The Big A.” Miguel Gonzalez walked four batters in the second inning, the first of three four-run rallies by Los Angeles. The White Sox dropped a 12-8 decision to the Angels, who completed a three-game sweep in front of 33,234. The loss is the 17th in 21 games in Anaheim for the White Sox dating back to 2012 and it dropped them to 17-21 overall this season.

“It’s definitely tough to swallow,” said Gonzalez, who allowed five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. “It’s not easy. Guys came out today and hit the ball well. We had 15 hits. Those type of games, those are the games you want to win. Things didn’t go our way. Our bullpen has been throwing the ball really well. Today didn’t go their way. Just flush this game and get ready for the next one.”

Everything appeared to be headed in the White Sox direction in the early innings.

Jose Abreu crushed a low, outside split-fingered fastball from Matt Shoemaker in the first inning for a two-run homer and a 2-0 lead. Abreu’s seventh homer traveled an estimated 424 feet and splashed down in the Thunder Mountain Railroad rocks in center field.

The White Sox added on in the second inning, too.

Matt Davidson singled and scored on an RBI single by Yolmer Sanchez and Leury Garcia scored on an errant double play throw to make it 4-0.

But then it all fell apart rather quickly.

After he walked one in a scoreless first inning, Gonzalez walked four in the four-run second inning. Andrelton Simmons drew the first and scored when Ben Revere tripled him in. Danny Espinosa received a free pass and Martin Maldonado’s sac bunt made it a 4-2 game. Cameron Maybin, who went 3-for-4 with a walk after a five-hit effort on Tuesday, walked as did Mike Trout to load the bases. Albert Pujols tied it with a two-run single.

Gonzalez then appeared to find a rhythm as he retired the side in order on seven pitches in the fourth. He recorded the first two outs in the sixth inning before allowing a double to Espinosa and gave way to Anthony Swarzak, who had a 0.00 ERA. Maldonado singled in the go-ahead run and Maybin singled to set up Trout, who blasted a three-run homer for an 8-4 lead.

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Gonzalez allowed five earned runs and six hits with five walks in 5 2/3 innings, his second straight rough outing. Swarzak departed with three runs and three hits allowed.

“It kind of fell apart there,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We’ve been riding these guys pretty hard, all of our relievers. One of the very few instances where our guys had a little tough time.

“This game evolved into one of those games that happens very rarely. We haven’t had that many to be honest. I don’t think it’s something to hold on to and let linger. We have to move on to the next series.”

It got a little worse before it got better.

A Tim Anderson error sparked a seventh-inning rally that included RBI singles by C.J. Cron, Espinosa and Maldonado. Maybin grounded into a double play to push across another run to make it 12-4.

The White Sox refused to go quietly as they scored three runs in the eighth inning. Avisail Garcia, Anderson and Kevan Smith all singled in a run. Garcia also doubled in a run in the ninth inning to get the White Sox within four runs.

“We’re trying our best to get out of this bad streak,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It doesn’t matter that our best right now hasn’t been enough for us. We have to keep working hard every day and do our best every day.

“We’re trying to fight every at-bat, every pitch, every play. Sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to go.”