White Sox defeat Jays on Eaton’s walk-off homer

SHARE White Sox defeat Jays on Eaton’s walk-off homer
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Melky Cabrera, right, celebrates with teammate Adam Eaton, center, after Eaton’s home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the 11th inning Wednesday. AP

All is quiet on the trade front. But it’s early.

Three weeks before the trade deadline, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has a plan in place that likely involves moving players to contending teams. Barring a hot streak that is tough to envision from a team that is flopping horribly at the plate, changes will be made.

Who goes, remains to be seen. Jeff Samardzija becomes a free agent after the season. Alexei Ramirez is in his last year with the team unless they pick up his option for 2016. Adam LaRoche has a year left. Hahn reiterated that the plan going forward wouldn’t involve a tear down, not with starting pitchers like Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon under control for several years.

“If we do start focusing on the future, it’s to figure out how many of this group are going to be part of that core and the best way to add to it,’’ Hahn said before the Sox (38-44) beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 after Adam Eaton hit a walk-off solo homer in the 11th Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Hahn and vice president Ken Williams began a restructuring of the roster two years ago in July when they traded Jake Peavy in a three-way deal that netted Avisail Garcia. They surprised everyone last offseason by adding big.

“When we sort of started initially down this path midway through ’13, it was with the idea that we were going to try to add on an annual basis and expand the core,’’ Hahn said. “Obviously we felt heading into this season that we put ourselves in a position to contend but it was still, as I said at the time repeatedly over the offseason, is that it’s part of a process. We weren’t done and in our minds going to stop looking to try to add to a core group. We have a fair amount of controllable talent entering or in their primes for the next several years and that’s an enviable position to be in.’’

The Sox offense has been one of the least productive in club history. They stopped their franchise record of 24 consecutive home games with four runs or less when they scored twice in the sixth inning to tie the score at 6-6. How rare was that run? The last team to go 25 in a row was the Texas Rangers over the 1972 and ‘73 seasons.

Pitchers Scott Carroll, Zach Duke, David Robertson and Zach Putnam (3-3) followed a poor start by John Danks (six runs over 4 1/3) teaming up for scoreless relief. Eaton blessed their work by hitting Roberto Osuna’s second pitch over the right-field wall, the first walk-off homer by a Sox leadoff man since Scott Podsednik in the 2005 World Series.

“That was the first time I tried to hit a homer and actually hit one,’’ said Eaton, who estimated he tries going deep about every two weeks.

Eaton’s homer was the Sox’ 16th hit – a whopping total for them. Avisail Garcia had four. All refreshing stuff for the Sox.

“I’ve heard people say they’ve never seen anything like this before in terms of this many, arguably high caliber offensive talents with significant track records all falling off the table at the same time,’’ Hahn said.

Hahn said he has to either trust the track records of slumping players, “which would bode well for the season,’’ or accept that “it’s not clicking for whatever reason and you’ve got to change this mix. Those are the two avenues in front of us right now.’’

The Sox, 8-2 in extra innings, have won six of their last eight games and 10 of 16. There’s still time before the deadline.

“My sense I’m getting from this clubhouse is they don’t really seem to be concerned about the trade deadline at all,’’ Hahn said. “They seemed to be concerned about finding a way to win tonight’s game. They want to put us in a position where it’s obvious that we’re not sellers over the next few weeks.’’

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Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com


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