After tough few years, Charlie Tilson enjoys his best moment with the White Sox on Wednesday

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 22: Charlie Tilson #22 of the Chicago White Sox is congratulated at home plate by Eloy Jimenez #74, James McCann #33 and Yonder Alonso #17 after hitting a grand slam in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – It has been a long time coming, and it was earned after a few rough years since making his way up to the major leagues.

On Wednesday night, Chicago-area native Charlie Tilson finally has his big moment in a White Sox uniform at Minute Maid Park.

Not only did the native of Wilmette hit the first homer of his major league career – one that started in 2016 – but Tilson smacked a grand slam to right field in the sixth inning against the Astros. It was not only the first time clearing the bases with a long ball, but it was his first major league homer of any kind, and helped the White Sox to a 9-4 win over the Astros.

This one came in his 162nd at-bat and after a few years of working his way back from injury and demotion.

A standout at New Trier High School, Tilson was selected by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft, and the next five years in their organization. He was traded to the White Sox for Zach Duke at the trade deadline in 2016 and made his debut on August 2nd. But in that contest against the Tigers the bad luck started. He strained his hamstring going for a ball in the outfield and had season-ending surgery two days later.

With a shot to win the center field job in 2017, the first of the White Sox rebuild, Tilson lost another season to injury against after suffering a stress reaction in his foot. When finally healthy, he split his 2018 season between Triple-A Charlotte and the White Sox, playing in 41 games at the big league level, hitting .264 with 11 RBI in 106 plate appearances.

Tilson got his latest shot earlier this month when a struggling Adam Engel was demoted to Charlotte. So far in 2019 he’s seen improvement, hitting .304 on the season with seven RBI and three stolen bases in 16 games. Naturally, Wednesday’s grand slam is the highlight of this year and his still young major league career, one that got a major boost from a big moment in Houston.

 

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