AP Sports Writer
The slumping Chicago White Sox are playing a team that didn’t give up on its season despite a terrible start Youth Donte Jackson Jersey , so maybe they decided that was a pretty good strategy to adopt.
The White Sox could have easily given up on their Tuesday night game against the surging Cincinnati Reds despite falling behind 4-0 before they’d gotten an out and 7-2 following Adam Duvall’s three-run homer in the fifth inning.
And given up on the series, too, since the Reds beat them 5-3 on Monday for their 15th victory in a span of 20 games, the National League’s best record since June 10. The Reds also were 7-1 in interleague games.
Instead, the White Sox managed to tie it first at 7-all on a Leury Garcia pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth and at 8-all on Avisail Garcia’s second home run of the game and third of the series, in the ninth.
The White Sox finally broke through to win it 12-8 in the 12th on Yoan Moncada’s bases-full triple that right fielder Brandon Dixon brought back over the wall to prevent a homer but couldn’t keep in his glove, and Yolmer Sanchez’s RBI triple — both off reliever Jackson Stephens.
“The pitch was up and in but I was able to put the barrel on it and get a triple,” said Moncada, who had a three-hit night after coming in with a .191 average in his previous 44 games. “Little by little, the work I’ve been putting in day in and day out, I’ve been feeling better (at the plate).”
Well before the 12th, the White Sox began their comeback as Daniel Palka hit a two-run homer in the fourth, then teamed with Garcia to homer in the sixth. Garcia has a 13-game hitting streak, and is 14-for-30 with four homers and six RBIs in his last six games.
Now, after winning for only the second time in six contests and the sixth time in 19 games, the White Sox are in position to take the series if they can win Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park. White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (3-3, 4.82 ERA) will oppose Reds right-hander Sal Romano (4-8, 5.30) in a matchup of pitchers who haven’t faced the opposing team before.
Covey is in a major slump, going 0-2 with an elevated 12.71 ERA with 12 walks and three strikeouts over his last three starts — this after he was 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his first three starts in June. His last time out, he surrendered four home runs and eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of a 11-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Friday.
“I made a couple of mistakes they capitalized on Youth Rashaan Gaulden Jersey ,” Covey told reporters afterward. “For the most part I was throwing good pitches. They were just taking the borderline ones and were all over everything that was in the zone. I don’t have an explanation.”
Manager Rick Renteria did.
“I think there were probably a lot of pitches left over the center of plate,” he said.
Or exactly the kind of pitches the White Sox jumped on Tuesday while getting 15 hits in only their second extra-inning win of the season, as compared to three losses. By winning, the White Sox avoided falling to a season-worst 27 games below .500.
The Reds have put together a string of improbable victories while starting to turn their season around after being 3-15 and 8-27. But this was a game in which they couldn’t hold a succession of leads — 4-0, 7-2, 8-7 — as they played more like they did in April.
“It got away from us late, but that’s a good offensive baseball team,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “Garcia’s a bear to deal with right now and he got us. … But we had a big-enough lead that we should have put it away in nine (innings).”
The Reds wasted a pair of two-run homers in the first by NL batting leader Scooter Gennett and NL RBIs leader Eugenio Suarez, plus Duvall’s three-run shot and a timely play by Billy Hamilton in which he scored the go-ahead run in the eighth on a ground ball to shortstop against a drawn-in infield.
“(But) we’ve been playing too good of baseball to get hung up on one game,” Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani said. “I don’t think this game is going to affect us one bit.”
Romano has pitched well in three of his last four starts, with a June 24 outing against the Cubs in which he gave up five runs in five innings being the only exception. He gave up only three runs over 20 innings in the other three starts.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (sore ankle) is expected back in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday for precautionary reasons.
Jon Gruden says he had a good talk with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis about returning to the organization for a second stint as coach and believes there is a ”good chance” it will happen.
Gruden gave an interview to ESPN Radio on Wednesday to discuss his pursuit of the Raiders job that opened when Jack Del Rio was fired after a disappointing six-win season.
”It’s been a long couple of weeks,” Gruden said. ”I know they’ve gone through their process of interviewing candidates and until they’re done I won’t know. I did have a good meeting with Mark. I’ve known him a long time and got a lot of respect for the Raiders football organization.”
Gruden has been out of coaching the past nine years while serving as ESPN’s analyst for ”Monday Night Football.” He is scheduled to work the network’s playoff game Saturday in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Tennessee Titans and could come back to the Raiders as soon as next week.
”I think there’s a good chance,” he said. ”I’m excited about where I’m at in terms of studying the game and preparing to come back and coach. I just don’t want to sit here and speculate.”
Gruden apparently is already trying to put together a staff. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he expected defensive coordinator Paul Guenther to interview with Oakland ”at some point.”
Gruden spent four seasons as coach in Oakland from 1998-2001. After leading the Raiders to 8-8 records his first two years, Gruden helped the team reach the AFC title game following the 2000 season and got Oakland back into the playoffs the following season.
His tenure ended shortly after the ”Tuck Rule” loss to the New England Patriots when he was traded the following month to Tampa Bay for two first-round draft picks, two second-rounders and $8 million.
Gruden beat the Raiders in the Super Bowl in his first season with the Buccaneers but didn’t win another playoff game for Tampa Bay in his final six seasons. He has a 95-81 career record.
The Raiders will be required to comply with the ”Rooney Rule” and interview at least one minority candidate or otherwise face discipline from the NFL. The team has not commented on the search and might have already conducted that interview.
Gruden dismissed speculation raised in a report by ESPN over the weekend that he would get an ownership stake as part of his contract.
This would not mark the first time the Raiders brought back a coach for a second stint. Late owner Al Davis hired Art Shell in 2006, 11 years after firing him the first time. Shell went 2-14 that season and was fired after one year.
Other teams have also done it, with one of the most recent notable ones being Joe Gibbs in Washington. Gibbs stepped away following the 1992 season with three Super Bowl titles in his career. He came back in 2004 and had a 30-34 record in four seasons, leading Washington to two playoff berths.
AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati contributed to this report