CHICAGO – There’s nothing wrong with keeping some perspective while enjoying the moment, and that’s what this three-game series was about.
The White Sox nor the Rays, two of the best teams in Major League Baseball, are going to capture anything no matter what transpired at Guaranteed Rate Field the last three days. Each team still has over 90 games to go over the next three-and-a-half months.
But a little momentum and some good vibes are never a bad thing, especially for a team trying to show what they’ve got against the reigning American League champions.
Yet the White Sox, even after an exciting ten innings of baseball on Wednesday, are trying to keep things in perspective.
Yasmani Grandal’s tenth-inning walk-off double capped off a very eventful afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday, giving the White Sox an 8-7 win.
Tony La Russa and the rest of the team would have rather the result would have been settled much earlier, especially after holding a five-run lead after the fifth inning. But in the end, the White Sox won the series against Tampa Bay to improve to a major league-best 43-25 on the season.
Still, that record and this series win isn’t getting anyone on the club too excited, especially with a four-game series with the Astros in Houston looming the next four days.
“We treat each and every team the same. We’re gonna give them everything we’ve got, we’re gonna play nine innings. We’re not taking anybody lightly,” said Grandal when asked about a stretch of games against American League contenders. “Just like everybody else whose coming to face us – they’re trying to beat us, they’re trying to get a ‘W,’ – we’re trying to do the same thing.
“It doesn’t matter who it is, we’re attacking them the same way we’re going to attack everybody.”
Certainly, the White Sox brought that energy in a series that saw the Rays win the first game by three and hosts return the favor with a three-run victory on Tuesday. Wednesday looked like it would be a runaway for a bit when the White Sox scored a total of seven runs in the third and fourth innings to go up by five.
But Tampa Bay responded with five runs of their own over the next three innings, getting a run off starter Lucas Giolito in the sixth as he allowed four total runs with three earned in his start. Mike Zunino’s two-run homer off Codi Heuer in the seventh made it a two run game, then Aaron Bummer surrendered a run in the eighth and left a baserunner for Evan Marshall.
He’ give up a double to Manuel Margot with two out that tied the game.
But Marshall worked a clean ninth and Ryan Burr did the same in the tenth, setting up Grandal for his winning moment. After Jose Abreu moved Andrew Vaughn to third to start the tenth with a ground out, the catcher sent a Pete Fairbanks pitch into the right field corner for the walk-off hit.
The celebration might have looked like one fitting for a September win, but the team’s perspecitve after was that of a club looking forward.
“We talked about that during one of the first games of the series, it’s so important to play the series you’re playing,” said La Russa. “You cannot get more ready for one and less ready for another. You’ll regret it.
“You’ve just got to search wins everytime.”
So far this season, the White Sox are finding it, especially during as big of a series as a team can have in the month of June.