KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eloy Jiménez logged his first big hit of the season, launching a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning that sent the White Sox over the Royals 5-3.
The 24-year-old slugger, who was the 2019 AL Rookie of the Year and then kept up his power surge during the pandemic-shortened season, tore a pectoral muscle in spring training. He hadn’t played in the majors until going 0 for 4 Monday night. But Jiménez quickly made up for lost time in his second game. After hitting a single in his first at-bat, he came up in the eighth after a two-out intentional walk to Jose Abreu with Chicago trailing 3-2. Jiménez connected for a 459-foot drive to cap a four-run rally for the AL Central leaders.
“I was waiting for this moment for almost four months,” explained Jiménez. “It’s good. It’s really good.”
“First of all, Eloy was the defensive star of the game. He played Gold Glove stuff out there – a Gold Glove throw,” noted Sox skipper Tony La Russa. “He hadn’t taken serious at bats in four or five months, but that’s a legitimate home run, too. What a bomb.”
Jiménez may be joined by his outfield counterpart, Luis Robert, soon. His minor league rehab assignment shifted to Triple-A Charlotte Tuesday, where he went 0 for 2 with a walk.