All’s well that ended well for the White Sox on Monday night.
As scares go, the Sox endured one that got as frightening as it gets for a team in rebuild mode. Prized prospect Yoan Moncada and Willy Garcia collided in right field in the sixth inning of the Sox’ 7-6 victory — won in walk-off fashion for the second consecutive game by Matt Davidson.
But back to Moncada, who was taken off the field on a cart, and Garcia, whose head took a hard hit from Moncada’s right knee at full speed as the two converged on Darwin Barney’s short fly toward the line. Garcia said he was knocked out by the blow, and while saying he felt fine afterward, he didn’t know what happened until seeing a video that caused the 13,023 fans on hand to collectively groan.
It could’ve been worse as Moncada suffered only a bruise to his right quadriceps just above the knee. Manager Rick Renteria, Jose Abreu and Davidson all said Moncada appeared to be fine.
“Very good,’’ Abreu said, smiling.
Because the affected area was on a muscle, the Sox said Moncada would not need an MRI exam. It seemed likely Garcia, though, would be in line for concussion protocol. Both will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
“I thought they were both out, is what it looked like to me,’’ Renteria said. “Neither one was moving.’’
Renteria chalked up the collision to aggressive play “on a Texas Leaguer” with two outs and the bases loaded. Renteria challenged that Garcia made the catch, but the call was upheld for a three-run double against James Shields (three home runs allowed) to give the Jays a 6-0 lead.
Abreu, who was close to the play, said he didn’t know which player to tend to first.
“It was a very scary moment,’’ he said. “They’re good now.’’
Moncada, ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball, was acquired in the December trade for Chris Sale and is something of a centerpiece of the Sox’ aggressive rebuild. His replacement, Yolmer Sanchez, homered in the eighth against Ryan Tepera to continue a spirited rally and cut the Jays’ lead to 6-5, a blast that followed Davidson’s two-run homer, his team-high 22nd.
In the ninth, Abreu drove in Adam Engel with a tying RBI single against closer Roberto Osuna before Davidson — who walked off the Indians with a home run Sunday — singled in Leury Garcia with the winning run. That set off the second Gatorade-dumping, back-slapping infield celebration in less than 24 hours, a much-needed injection of fun and frolic for a team decimated by trades and losses in 14 of its previous 16 games.
It was the first time since July 2-3 that the Sox had won consecutive games, finishing off a horrible 6-18 month on a winning note.
“It’s good to get everybody with smiles on their faces,’’ said Davidson, who became the first Sox player with walk-off hits in consecutive games since Dave Martinez in 1997.
Hours earlier, the non-waiver trade deadline passed without the Sox — one of the busiest teams leading up to it — making a deal. They had done enough in the days leading up to it.
The Moncada-Garcia drama was something they could have done without.
“At first, I didn’t really see it until the replay, it happened so fast,’’ Davidson said. “But that replay was pretty nasty. I’m glad everybody is all right and not too severely injured.’’
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