By Anthony Andro, The Sports Xchange
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Chicago White Sox are going nowhere in 2017, but they showed Friday night that the future is bright.
Hot-hitting rookie Nicky Delmonico hit two homers and drove in three as the White Sox snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Texas.
Delmonico’s inside-the-park homer in the eighth inning snapped a 3-3 tie and helped make a winner out of Gregory Infante and set up Juan Minaya for a save. The win was the first in the majors for Infante (1-1) and the save was the first in Minaya’s career.
Delmonico’s heroics also helped end a four-game winning streak for the Rangers.
Delmonico opened the eighth by lining a Ricky Rodriguez (0-1) pitch deep to right. Texas right fielder Nomar Mazara crashed into the wall and stayed down, allowing Delmonico to scoot home with the first inside-the-park homer for a Chicago player since Brett Lawrie on June 26, 2016.
It also capped a night in which he went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. He now has five homers in his first 15 games and has reached base safely in 14 of those. He already has two two-homer games, but the inside-the-parker goes to the top of the list.
“I felt like I ran out of gas right before third, but luckily I was able to score,” said Delmonico, who now has four homers in his last 11 plate appearances. “I thought maybe there was a chance to get out, but luckily I beat it. In Triple-A this year I hit one. This is pretty special.”
Special is the best way to describe the start for Delmonico’s career.
“He’s going to have an opportunity to do very well,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “His composure, his approach, his demeanor is a big part of that. I think he’s a baseball player. He’s been around the block, grinding out, trying to get here. I think he appreciates the opportunity he’s getting. He just goes out and plays the game.”
The Rangers caught a break on the homer, too. Mazara stayed down and was looked at by the team trainers after hyperextending his left knee. He remained in the game and was examined by team doctor Keith Meister after, with no structural damage found.
“”I’m okay,” said Mazara, who extended his hitting streak to six by going 1-for-2 with two walks. “When I jumped and got down my leg locked a little bit and I felt something I’ve never felt before. And then when I got up I got scared. Thank God everything’s fine. I knew right away it was my knee, the outside part. I didn’t want to get up because it was hurting at the time. Then I sat down and it was kind of calming down.”
Infante retired all five batters he faced, striking out one. Minaya worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to preserve the win.
The White Sox took an early 1-0 lead off Texas starter Andrew Cashner when Leury Garcia scored on an error. Chicago starter James Shields made that run stand up until Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer into the Texas bullpen in the fourth inning.
The White Sox regained the lead in the sixth when Delmonico ripped a Cashner pitch to right for a two-run homer to put Chicago up 3-2.
Texas tied the score in the bottom of the seventh on a Delino DeShields grounder. Shields was charged with two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Cashner had his streak of quality starts end at six, allowing three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings.
“I felt all right, not my best, but I found a way to grind through and give us a chance to win,” Cashner said. “Everything I’ve been through in my career I kind of have an idea of what I need to do to get through a game without having my best stuff. My sinker was kind of hit and me. Changeup was decent and my curveball was all right. It was more working both sides of the plate with a fastball and keeping them off balance.”
Tim Anderson had three of the nine Chicago hits and Jose Abreu went 2-for-5.