White Sox's Garcia burns ex-team

Brian Hedger, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- It wasn't an easy decision for the Detroit Tigers to trade Avisail Garcia, let alone deal him within their own division in a three-team swap with the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox.
Garcia showed why Tuesday night in Chicago's 4-3 victory in 11 innings against Detroit at U.S. Cellular Field.
The highly regarded former Tigers prospect drove in the White Sox's first two runs with a fourth-inning triple, and he scored on an error on the same play. Seven innings later, he scored the winning run after drawing a leadoff walk from Jeremy Bonderman (2-4).
"He'll probably be more relaxed as time goes on and he's here (longer)," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You're seeing things ... him running, a couple throws in the outfield and things like that. Those are all things we'd heard about, and now you get to see it."
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Garcia, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, showed off his impressive speed on both the triple and while advancing to second on Jeff Keppinger's sacrifice bunt attempt in the 11th -- beating Bonderman's throw with no outs.
Garcia trotted home easily on Alejandro De Aza's bases-loaded single over a drawn-in infield to end it, giving Addison Reed (5-1) the win and the White Sox (46-72) the clincher in the three-game series that concludes Wednesday afternoon.
"I feel very good," Garcia said. "I'm just trying to do my job, play hard and do something good for my team. I'm trying to win games."
Garcia said revenge for the trade isn't foremost in his mind.
"It's all about (winning) baseball (games)," he said. "When you get traded ... that's going to happen. You want to play the same way you play all the years of your career."
It wasn't the sharpest outing for Tigers starter Max Scherzer, who lasted only six innings and threw just 63 of his 105 pitches for strikes in a no-decision. He walked three, hit Gordon Beckham with a pitch to start Chicago's three-run fourth and allowed all three of those runs (two earned) on the triple by Garcia.
The hit came with a 1-2 count and two outs, and Garcia came around to score on an overthrow by shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
"I think (Scherzer) just got in a situation where he threw a couple by him and thought he could slip another one by him," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He got it in the middle down, and (Garcia) hit it."
Hector Santiago started for Chicago, despite having a swollen cheek and a fever stemming from an infection following a root canal on Monday. He allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits through five-plus innings and took a no-decision.
Detroit, which has lost three straight and four of its last five, cut Chicago's lead to 3-2 after Santiago left in the sixth by scratching out an unearned run stemming from the first of Ramirez's three errors.
The Tigers (69-49) added another unearned run in the eighth off reliever Nate Jones to tie it at 3, again getting help from a Ramirez error.
The White Sox got the winning run to second base in the bottom of the ninth with one out against Bruce Rondon, but he escaped by striking out Conor Gillaspie and getting De Aza to ground sharply to first.
In the 11th, De Aza capitalized on his second opportunity with the game-winning single.
"It means a lot (to win) because they have a (great) team and they have good pitching," De Aza said of the Tigers, who are 23 games ahead of the last-place Sox in the American League Central. "We just battled there, you know? (I wanted) to make contact -- make good, solid contact, because I know the infield was in and I was just trying to put the ball in play."
Detroit advanced runners into scoring position in both the 10th and 11th against Reed but couldn't drive in a run.
"We know that teams are not going to roll over, so we're battling,"
Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter said. "You see those guys pitching us to a 'T,' (and) they're having great at-bats. They want to win.
"When a team that's in first place comes in, they want to show that, 'We're better.' Those guys, they're playing good ball right now."
NOTES: White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams met with reporters for more than 20 minutes prior to the game and touched on a number of topics, including team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's angst at his team sitting in last place. "How has Jerry dealt with it?" Williams said. "He's not a happy man. He's as competitive as they come. We all are."... White Sox LF Dayan Viciedo missed a fourth straight game because of a thumb injury. ... Tigers 1B Prince Fielder said "everything is fine," in response to teammate Hunter telling a Detroit radio station on Tuesday that Fielder is dealing with an undisclosed off-field issue that could be affecting his numbers.

What to Read Next