Moncada, Garcia power White Sox past Tigers
DETROIT — Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu ordered some new bats for rookie Yoan Moncada. That change of equipment has made the highly regarded prospect much more dangerous at the plate.
The White Sox second baseman received the new lumber in Kansas City this week and he’s smacked 10 hits over the last four games. Moncada notched his first four-hit game on Thursday as the White Sox crushed the Detroit Tigers 17-7 at Comerica Park.
“He saw me having a little trouble with the bats I was using and he approached me and said, ‘Why don’t you try some different models to see how you feel?’” Moncada said through an interpreter. “He ordered the bats and I feel really good with them.”
Moncada reached base six times, including a solo homer, as the White Sox established season highs in runs and hits (25). He also tied a franchise record by scoring five runs.
The new bats are a little smaller and lighter than the ones Moncada had been using.
“My hands are more lively,” said Moncada, who raised his batting average 22 points to .229. “My swing is more fluid and I feel stronger with my swing with these bats. That’s basically the difference.”
Avisail Garcia set career highs with five hits and seven RBIs. He had a three-run homer and four singles while also reaching base six times.
Garcia is hitting .333 with 17 homers and 77 RBIs. He batted .245 last season.
“He’s really putting the barrel on the baseball a little bit more consistently now, not only in the air but he’s had a lot of ground-ball base hits,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “The ball jumps off his bat pretty good. He carries himself with a quiet confidence.”
Abreu supplied four hits, three runs scored and two RBIs. Matt Davidson added three hits and three RBIs for the White Sox (59-87), who have won five of their last six games.
“These games don’t happen very often,” Renteria said.
Winning pitcher James Shields (4-6) gave up four runs on nine hits and struck out seven in six innings.
Miguel Cabrera, Nicholas Castellanos, Jeimer Candelario and Ian Kinsler hit solo homers for Detroit (60-86), which has lost six straight. Castellanos extended his hitting streak to 11 games, tying his career high.
Tigers starter Chad Bell (0-3) surrendered six runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
“I’ve got to be a little more effective with my changeup, which is a pitch I’ve relied pretty heavily on as a reliever and a starter. Just wasn’t very good today,” Bell said. “I wasn’t throwing it for a strike, and then the few that I did were really firm and up in the zone.”
The crowds have thinned out at Comerica and the fans that showed up on Thursday had little reason to cheer.
“They love baseball, but they want winners,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. “I don’t blame them. So do I. When you’re not winning, it’s not that they’re not fans of the Tigers, it’s just not as much fun to come watch a team lose, so they don’t. That’s pretty standard.”
The White Sox scored four runs in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead. Tim Anderson’s single brought in the first two runs. Garcia’s single off the glove of shortstop Jose Iglesias knocked in two more.
Garcia blasted his three-run homer off Jeff Ferrell during Chicago’s four-run sixth. The White Sox smacked three consecutive singles before the long ball, including Abreu’s run-scoring hit.
The Tigers made it 10-4 in the sixth on Candelario’s homer and Iglesias’ RBI double.
Garcia contributed an RBI single and Davidson added a run-scoring double during the White Sox’s three-run seventh. Garcia had another RBI single in a three-run eighth.
Chicago scored two runs in the first on Moncada’s fifth homer and Davidson’s RBI single. The Tigers tied it in the third on two-out, back-to-back homers by Cabrera and Castellanos.
NOTES: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus vehemently denied home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott was intentionally hit by a Buck Farmer fastball during a 5-3 loss in Cleveland on Wednesday. Ausmus had just been ejected for arguing balls and strikes. “To me, it’s preposterous,” he said. “It’s asinine to even think that. It’s 100 percent false.” ... Detroit OF Mikie Mahtook missed his sixth straight game with a groin injury. “I’d be surprised if he wasn’t ready by Saturday at the latest,” Ausmus said. ... The White Sox won consecutive road games for the first time since June 16-17 at Toronto. ... Chicago had lost 14 of its last 17 games at Comerica Park. ... White Sox RF Avisail Garcia has hit safely in 23 of his last 27 games.