He was being modest after his own dominant start but Chris Sale didn’t fib when he singled out the rookies Garcia on Wednesday night.
Without the efforts of Leury Garcia and Avisail Garcia, Sale might have another no-decision or perhaps another hard-luck loss even though he struck out 12 batters over eight-plus innings.
Instead, the left-hander earned a victory as the White Sox pair helped Sale bounce back from his only hiccup with a display of speed and power in the seventh inning of a 6-1 win over the Houston Astros. Leury Garcia used his wheels to score the go-ahead run and Avisail Garcia put the game away with his first White Sox home run later in a four-run rally.
“The Garcia boys stole the show tonight,” Sale said. “What an unbelievable job they did tonight.”
The Garcias took over shortly after Chris Carter deposited a 1-1 offering from Sale 421 feet into the left-field bleachers.
Hitting in the leadoff spot, Leury Garcia drew his second walk of the night against Lucas Harrell to start the seventh inning. The shortstop didn’t wait long to show off his foot speed, which was rated as the fastest in the Texas Rangers organization by several publications. Leury Garcia stole second base and raced to third when the throw by catcher Cody Clark skipped into center field.
Leury Garcia then sped home and just beat a great throw by Brandon Barnes on Jeff Keppinger’s sac fly to shallow center field to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead. Leury Garcia also walked in the first inning and scored and had a sacrifice fly in the eighth to put the White Sox ahead 6-1.
“Everybody knows you're probably going, and to steal it and get in scoring position and then score on a pretty shallow fly ball, again, that kind of speed is not everywhere,” manager Robin Ventura said.
[NOTES: Adam Dunn continues to hit]
Later in the inning Avisail Garcia showed off some of the power the White Sox front office believes is just as hard to find.
After a pair of two-out walks by Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, Avisail Garcia crushed a 2-2 pitch from Harrell over the center-field fence for a three-run homer. It was the Detroit Tigers-product’s first home run with the White Sox.
“I waited for that one,” Avisail Garcia said. “I just tried to look in for that pitch inside and I got it and hit it good. … I feel more comfortable here and I got playing time. I feel good right here.”
Ditto for Sale after the rookies provided the late firepower.
Sale, who established a franchise record with his fourth start of at least 12 strikeouts, was thoroughly impressed by the youngsters.
“A big homer and I think both of them were involved in every run scored,” Sale said. “So hats off to them and they won it for us.”