SEATTLE — Yolmer Sanchez learned from an earlier mistake to help convert a smooth double play on Sunday afternoon.
Two days after he started a rundown too early, the White Sox second baseman said better mental preparation led to him perfect execution of a similar play. Sanchez made several nice defensive plays in Sunday’s 8-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners and also extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with a two-run single in the first inning.
Manager Rick Renteria liked how Sanchez adjusted from the earlier play, one of seven double plays he participated in over the team’s last two games.
“He went after the runner, held on a little too long and this one he executed perfectly,” Renteria said. “He got the runner going back toward first, was able to get (Jarrod) Dyson at first and redirect the play into a rundown, which was excellent. In the first game, we had something like that that didn’t go as well.”
Sanchez — who is hitting .327/.367/.455 with 13 RBIs in 110 plate appearances — said part of his execution in the third inning on Sunday was because he was better prepared. With the slow-footed Tuffy Gosewisch on first and the speedy Dyson at the plate, Sanchez knew he’d have to make a quick decision on any play headed his way.
Dyson put the ball in play with Sanchez having to charge in to glove it. When he did, Sanchez took a step toward Gosewisch, forcing him to retreat toward first, before Sanchez fired the ball to first baseman Jose Abreu in time to retire Dyson. Abreu then threw a relay to shortstop Tim Anderson and the White Sox ran down Gosewisch for the second out of the inning.
“That particular play two days ago, I didn’t think before the ground ball,” Sanchez said. “Today I was really ready for that play. I was really ready. I knew we had a fast runner on the play, get that runner and then the run down.”
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It was one of four double plays the White Sox defense converted behind starter Derrick Holland, who pitched eight innings of one-run ball. Sanchez also made a great running, sliding catch in shallow center on Dan Vogelbach’s pop up to end the second inning. Had the ball fallen, Ben Gamel may have scored a run.
Holland recognized Sanchez for his efforts, though that may have had more to do with the second baseman’s latest round of crashing a teammate’s interview. Sanchez is so constantly a fixture in his teammates’ interviews that the White Sox may want to consider issuing him a media credential. He often holds his phone up to players mouths as if he were also recording the interview and sometimes holds a bat up behind a crowd of reporters as if it were a boom microphone.
“You've got to tip your cap to Yolmer for doing such a good job out there,” Holland said. “Good job, Yolmer.”
Said Sanchez: “Thank you very much my friend.”
“You're welcome, my friend,” Holland shot back.
Holland would have his revenge shortly thereafter. Both he and third baseman Todd Frazier parachuted in to disrupt Sanchez’s postgame interview. Outfielder Avisail Garcia also dropped by. The second baseman playfully chided all.
“I’m working here,” Sanchez said.