Reds beat Sox 1-0 in extras, La Russa unaware of automatic runner rule


CINCINNATI, OHIO – MAY 05: Manager Tony La Russa of the Chicago White Sox relieves Michael Kopech #34 in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 05, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI — Jesse Winker’s RBI single in the 10th inning is the only run the White Sox staff allowed in two games against the Reds.

But, the decisions made by Tony La Russa that led up to the walk-off winner is what’s causing frustration on the South Side.

After bringing in Liam Hendriks to pitch in the 9th on a double switch, he used his closer as the automatic runner in the top of the 10th.

The rule states the runner must be the batter preceding that inning’s leadoff hitter, but there is an exception if the runner would be the pitcher.

La Russa said he would have used Jose Abreu instead of Hendriks, if he would have known the rule.

“Yeah, if I’d had known that. I didn’t know that.”

La Russa also had Leury Garcia try to steal second base with one down and Hendriks at third base, but Garcia was thrown out.

“We were trying to be aggressive all game long,” La Russa said.

“That’s a big play, right there,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It changes a lot.”

Then, Billy Hamilton struck out to end the inning.

Both teams were a combined 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position through eight innings, stranding 11 runners. There were 29 runners left on base in all, 15 by the Reds.

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