White Sox’s 10th-inning HR ends Angels’ playoff hopes
CHICAGO — The last time Nicky Delmonico connected on a walk-off home run, it resulted in a Tennessee high school state championship in 2010.
After the Chicago White Sox left fielder lifted a two-run, game-winning homer into the right field bleachers in the bottom of the 10th inning on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Angels, Delmonico admitted the celebratory feeling was very similar.
Delmonico’s homer lifted the White Sox to a 6-4 win that eliminated the Angels from playoff contention. The Minnesota Twins clinched the American League’s second wild card.
Told afterward that he likely made Twins fans very happy, Delmonico replied, “That’s what I’ve been hearing.”
In Minnesota, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier told reporters that Delmonico is his new favorite player.
Avisail Garcia led off the 10th inning with a double into the left field corner against Angels reliever Blake Parker (3-3). Delmonico followed with the homer to give the White Sox the victory. Delmonico also had a RBI double in the fourth inning.
“(The home run) was just one of those where you just hope it goes out,” Delmonico said. “I thought I got it good enough, but I didn’t know until it went out.”
After Delmonico’s homer disappeared, so did the Angels’ postseason hopes. The Twins clinched the wild-card spot despite losing earlier in the evening to the Cleveland Indians.
“There’s not a guy in that room that doesn’t feel (disappointed) because we felt we were playing at a level that we felt we could have reached our goal,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get there.”
Danny Farquhar (4-2) picked up the victory after recording the last two outs in the top of the 10th.
The Angels took a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning on Andrelton Simmons’ RBI single. Los Angeles put runners on first and second with nobody out when Justin Upton walked and Albert Pujols singled. After Brandon Phillips flied out, Simmons followed with a single that drove in Upton.
Tim Anderson drew the White Sox even with two outs in the sixth. Willy Garcia reached on a one-out error and advanced to third on two wild pitches. After Adam Engel struck out, Anderson produced a single up the middle to tie the score.
Trailing by three runs in the fifth, the Angels tied the score with two outs.
After Reynaldo Lopez retired the first two batters in the inning, he hit C.J. Cron and allowed a single by Martin Maldonado. Kole Calhoun followed with a three-run homer to dead center field before Lopez struck out Mike Trout to end the rally.
“The homer was my mistake because I was dominating him with my fastball, and then I tried to throw him a changeup,” Lopez said. “It was my mistake, and I take it because there is no reason for me to throw that pitch in that moment.”
The White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning when Delmonico drove in Jose Abreu with a double after Abreu led off with a single. Willy Garcia extended the lead on an RBI groundout with the bases loaded before Tyler Saladino, who walked with one out, scored on a Garrett Richards wild pitch.
Richards departed after he walked Adam Engel with two outs. He allowed three runs and four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
Lopez gave up four runs on five hits in six innings. He walked two and fanned seven.
The White Sox bullpen limited the Angels to just one hit over the final four innings before Delmonico came through as Chicago won on a walk-off for the ninth time this season.
“They’ve been grinding all year,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “They are still having fun and continue to learn a little bit more every single day they are playing.”
NOTES: White Sox RF Willy Garcia exited the game with a left hamstring strain. He is listed as day-to-day. ... Angels 3B Yunel Escobar’s availability for the remainder of the season remains unknown, manager Mike Scioscia said. Escobar has been out since Aug. 8 with an oblique strain and has been rehabbing in Arizona. Escobar was to have played in Arizona on Wednesday, but he has not made enough progress to do so, Scioscia said. ... White Sox 3B Matt Davidson missed his second straight game due to illness, but manager Rick Renteria said Davidson was available to pinch-hit if needed. Davidson should be ready to play by Thursday, according to Renteria. ... Chicago RHP Carson Fulmer (blister) should be prepared to make his next start, which would be this weekend against the Cleveland Indians.