Alex Rios got the White Sox headed in the right direction on Friday night. Then he sent them home.
The White Sox right fielder delivered a game-winning two-run home run to lift the White Sox to an 8-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels in front of 32,060 at U.S. Cellular Field. Rios second homer of the game and 18 th this season was the White Sox first walkoff of the season.
Matt Thornton (4-6) earned the victory as the White Sox bullpen combined for 4 13 shutout innings.
Rios homered just over the leap of Angels center fielder Mike Trout with pinch-runner Jordan Danks aboard.
Fridays contest got out to a slow start when Angels manager Mike Scioscia protested a call in the first inning. Scioscia believed Paul Konerko ran inside the base line on a potential double play and argued the call for five minutes to no avail. Konkerko reached on a fielders choice on the play and reloaded the bases.
The White Sox took advantage of the delay against a cold Greinke to rally from a 1-0 deficit. Rios tied the game with an RBI single -- though Adam Dunn was thrown out at the plate on the play. A.J Pierzynski followed with a three-run homer -- his 19th -- to give the Sox a 4-1 lead.
White Sox starting pitcher Philip Humber didnt hang on to the lead for very long.
He walked Angels catcher with two outs in the second inning and Mike Trout followed with a two-run homer to make it 4-3. An inning later, Humber walked Kendry Morales and Alberto Callaspo with two outs and gave up RBI singles to Howie Kendrick and Maicer Izturis to give the Angels the lead.
All six runs given up by Humber -- who allowed 10 hits and four walks in 5 23 innings -- came with two outs. Albert Pujols homered with two outs in the sixth to put the Angels ahead 6-4.
Greinke also had trouble maintaining the lead.
The right-hander, whom the White Sox tried to acquire before the Milwaukee Brewers traded him to the Angels last Friday, settled down after he allowed two singles in the second inning. He retired 11 of 12 batters into the sixth inning until Rios hit a solo homer -- his 17th -- to cut the lead in half. Greinke then allowed the White Sox to tie the game in the seventh when Alejandro De Aza had an RBI ground-rule double to score Alexei Ramirez.
Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.
The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.
The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.
Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.
Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.
He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.
Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.
The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.
The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.
Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.
The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.
Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.
Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:
Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”
Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.