CHICAGO — A smiling White Sox Elvis Andrus emerged from his team’s 7-6 victory over the Rangers Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field and paused to watch NBC Sports Chicago postgame coverage play out on a TV hanging just feet away.
The controversial play just so happened to be at the plate during the White Sox’ three-run eighth inning, with Andrus in the middle of it all. He was originally ruled out by umpire DJ Reborn’s home run attempting to score the go-ahead from second on Zach Remillard’s single to left. The initial call was then overturned after a replay review ruled Andrus safe, as Texans catcher Jonah Heim was determined to have violated the home plate collision rule.
The White Sox challenged both the out call and the home plate collision rule, but the final umpire—Heim determined to block Andrus’ path to the plate—was inaudible on the field, as the crowd went crazy. Noise and excitement upon hearing the word “upside down”.
“At first I was really upset. I usually kind of score on those plays,” Andrews said. I was really sad when he didn’t call. [me] security. But then when they switched that call everybody saw, I started jumping around like a little kid in the dugout and everyone was the same.
Andrus added, “I feel like matches like this are what you need as a team, to kind of spark the energy. Sometimes when you don’t win, it’s over. Hopefully we’ll let this game tonight help us move forward and get back on a winning streak.”
Games like Tuesday add to an already strange season for the White Sox. They lost 10 straight through the month of April and had a 7-21 record at one point, something that would bury most teams. But Chicago is a resident of American League Central, whose 32-43 record leaves the club just 4 1/2 games out of first place. The division-leading Twins have a 36-38 record, which is good enough for a one-game lead over the Guardians.
“So glad it’s that way,” AL Central’s Andrews said. “This is something we talk about and I try to convey to the players: In baseball, you have to have a short memory.
“You can’t hold on to the past. Stick to the last week, the last day. For us, it’s looking forward. As long as we believe, we know we have the talent to do it. It’s about sticking together as a team and going the right way.”
The White Sox evaporated by scores both 2-0 and 4-2 on Tuesday, even though rookie Dylan Sieyes struck out nine times over six innings and recorded 24 swings and a strikeout, on Statast.
Eloy Jiménez also launched a two-run homer on first off Nathan Eovaldi, ending Chicago’s streak of nine consecutive singles.
Corey Seager’s two-run double off Aaron Bummer in the eighth gave the Rangers’ slugger five RBIs and scored twice for a 6-4 Rangers advantage.
Andrus tied the game in the bottom half of the frame, running off Grant Anderson intern with runners on second and third and, through a big opening between first and second, bringing in Luis Robert Jr. and pinch runner Jose Rodriguez, who was in his major league debut.
Andros had two hits, including his 98th home run, with 76 of them coming during his 12 seasons with the Rangers.
“We always knew he’s a super clutch defender, very smooth out there,” Cease said. “And any time he comes on offensively, it’s like we win.”
“He’s been there,” said White Sox manager Pedro Grifoll. “He knows where we are and where we have to go and is not at all shy about reminding everyone of this what we need to do.”
The final three-run rally turned another potential sub-. 500 move for the White Sox on its head, with the club instead taking another step closer to the top of the division. There’s still a lot of work left for the White Sox to do, especially for a team that isn’t consistently playing as well as they would like.
They helped themselves on Tuesday and got a little help by restarting to even their 11-11 single-game record. Momentum seems to change with the start of a White Sox game, let alone a game or series.
“I’m glad it worked our way,” said a smiley who stood up to the flipped call at the panel.
“At the end of the day, they dictate the rules and we play the game,” Remillard said. “It went our way, and now we can enjoy it.”
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