Adam LaRoche’s homer late Friday didn’t have every aspect of those that Little Leaguers dream about covered, but it’ll do.
Down to their final out, the White Sox rallied on the first baseman’s game-tying solo home run off Detroit closer Joakim Soria and later earned a 4-3 victory in 11 innings at U.S. Cellular Field.
LaRoche’s 403-foot homer to center field is the 250th of his career and one of the more memorable round-trippers, he said.
“Down to our final out there and it allowed us to keep playing and get a win,” LaRoche said. “I can’t say I ever had a goal on home runs or a mark I wanted to hit. Just looking back, it’s neat, the ones you do remember and this will definitely be one of them. I won’t forget this one. Pretty cool.”
The White Sox entered the game last in the American League with 35 homers. They hit two late, including a seventh-inning solo shot by Avisail Garcia.
LaRoche believes the White Sox are a far more capable offense than they have shown so far, including the long ball, and that they’ll prove it as the weather heats up. But the way things have gone, LaRoche admitted he wondered if he got enough of Soria’s 94-mph fastball to reach the stands Friday.
Though Rajai Davis reached the wall in time, any attempt at robbing LaRoche was impeded by the top of the fence, as the center fielder misjudged where he was and jumped into the padding.
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It’s not quite the walk-off grand slam he’s dreamt about so many times, but you’re not about to hear LaRoche complain.
“Coming around first, I still wasn’t sure if he caught it or not,” LaRoche said. “He went up on the wall and I never saw the ball. We’ll take it.
“Usually, it’s the bases loaded and you’re down by three. But again, we’ve got to keep playing that with two outs and that could have ended it. That was pretty special.”