White Sox manager Tony La Russa dubbed his team’s 6-3 win against the Pirates Wednesday “one of our best defensive games of the year.”
It was indeed full of defensive highlights, from left fielder Eloy Jiménez chasing down a fly ball in the gap, to third baseman Yoan Moncada showing his range on a popup in foul territory.
Leury García, however, claimed the top spot in the reel, starting at shortstop with Tim Anderson (left hamstring strain) on the 10-day injured list. García has played six different positions this year, all but first base, pitcher and catcher.
With one out in the fourth inning, Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings hit a ground ball into the hole between third base and shortstop. García fielded the two-hopper backhanded and slung a throw across his body to second base to start an inning-ending double play.
“This guy can play anywhere and be an outstanding defensive player,” La Russa said. “To put on the show – I was kidding Tim in the clubhouse about making sure that he’s watching. And we all had a good laugh because that’s how Tim plays.”
White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodón grinned at the mention of the defense behind him.
“Part of the reason why I went five (innings) is they made some nice plays,” he said.
Rodón held the Pirates to one run in those five innings. It was his second game back from the IL (shoulder fatigue), and he said he’s gradually building up his pitch count. The southpaw threw 67 pitches at Toronto last week and 77 on Wednesday.