Delmonico’s homer in 10th lifts White Sox over Angels
CHICAGO (AP) — After hitting his first walk-off homer since high school, Nicky Delmonico was beaming in the White Sox clubhouse.
The Minnesota Twins had to be smiling too.
Delmonico lofted a two-run shot in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Chicago a 6-4 victory Wednesday night that eliminated the Los Angeles Angels from playoff contention. Minnesota, which lost 4-2 at Cleveland, got the second AL wild card berth.
Los Angeles lost for the eighth time in 10 games — and the Angels are out of the playoffs.
“There’s not a guy in that room that doesn’t feel it,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get there. The Twins played great down the stretch. They earned it.”
Angels slugger Mike Trout struck out four times and walked in five plate appearances.
“We were grinding all the way to end,” Trout said. “It’s tough, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Delmonico, a pleasant surprise since being called up from Triple-A on Aug. 1, said he couldn’t “describe it in words.”
“But to be able to do that is something you dream about in the backyard.”
Delmonico said he last hit a game-ending homer to give Farrugut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee a state championship in 2010. He wasn’t sure the drive that ended the Angels’ playoff hopes would go out.
Delmonico, who had three hits and three RBIs, connected for his ninth homer to right field on a 2-1 pitch from Blake Parker (3-3), the fifth Angels reliever, after Avisail Garcia had led off the inning with a double.
“I got something soft and I ended up elevating it,” said Delmonico, who is hitting .267 and has 26 RBIs in 41 games with Chicago. “It was just one of those where you just hope it goes out.”
Jose Abreu continued his hot late-season hitting with two hits, and Tim Anderson and Willy Garcia both had an RBI. Danny Farquhar (4-2) the fourth White Sox reliever pitched 2/3 innings for the win.
Kole Calhoun crushed his 18th homer, a three-run shot that tied the game 3-all in the fifth. Andrelton Simmons had two hits and an RBI as the Angels battled back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth.
White Sox rookie Reynaldo Lopez started strong, striking out the side in the first and retiring 14 of the first 16 hitters. But the 23-year-old righty couldn’t hold a 3-0 lead and got a no-decision as he allowed four runs in six innings.
Angels starter Garrett Richards lasted only 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs in his fifth start since returning from the disabled list on Sept. 5. The right-hander had been sidelined since suffering a right biceps strain in his first start this season, at Oakland on April 5.
Richards retired nine of the first 11 batters, but didn’t survive the fourth when Chicago jumped ahead 3-0.
Delmonico’s double to the warning track in right center drove in Abreu with Chicago’s first run. After the White Sox loaded the bases with one out, Willy Garcia’s groundout drove in a second run, then Tyler Saladino raced home from third on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
Los Angeles touched Lopez for three runs with two outs in the fifth when Lopez hit C.J. Cron with a pitch, Martin Maldonado singled and Calhoun lined his 18th homer to straightaway center tie it at 3.
“The homer was my mistake because I was dominating him with my fastball, and then I tried to throw him a changeup,” Lopez said.
The teams each scored a run in the sixth to make it 4-4.
Richards’ start was just his 12th over the past two seasons, as he missed the final five months of 2016 with a right elbow injury. In 2014 and 2015, the righty was a combined 28-16 with a 3.18 ERA in 376 innings with 340 strikeouts.
Chicago manager Rick Renteria wasn’t ready to announce a starter for Friday’s game at Cleveland. It would have been rookie Lucas Giolito’s turn, but the 6-foot-6 right-hander was shut down after tossing a combined 174 innings for the White Sox and Triple-A Charlotte, reaching “what the organization . thought was a good pitch limit for him,” Renteria said.
Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar (strained right oblique) didn’t play in a game on Wednesday in Arizona as expected because “he has not made enough progress,” manager Mike Scioscia said. Escobar took live batting practice instead.
White Sox: OF Garcia left the game in the eighth with a left hamstring strain. . INF Matt Davidson didn’t play due to chest congestion and “a little bit of wheezing” according to Renteria.
Chicago RHP Dylan Covey (0-7, 7.83) starts on Thursday night in the White Sox’s final home game versus RHP Bud Norris (2-6, 4.42. Covey was reinstated from the DL on Aug. 15 and is still looking for his first major-league win.