BOSTON — The Yermin Mercedes experience added another dimension Monday when the 5-11, 245-pound designated hitter pitched the seventh inning of the White Sox’ 11-4 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
A catcher who pitched some in independent ball in the Dominican, Mercedes touched 87 mph and managed to keep the Red Sox’ damage to one run with three hits and two walks, thanks to a liner to shortstop Tim Anderson that turned into a double play.
Manager Tony La Russa, trying to save his bullpen trailing by six runs, approached Mercedes — the first American League Player of the Week and the team’s leader in home runs with four — about pitching only minutes before. It was his first appearance in a major-league game on defense.
“Yeah, I’m feeling good for that,” Mercedes said. “If you need me, I’ll be there.”
Danny Mendick, pitching for the first time since high school — and he said he pitched only one or two times — fared better with a scoreless inning. He allowed one hit, struck out Franchy Cordero on a “60 mph-ish four-seam fastball grip that I was flicking there for a strike” and saved the ball, which will go in his man cave.
Mendick finished the inning with a “40 mph slow air cutter” to Kike Hernandez, who grounded to Anderson for a forceout.
“With two outs in the seventh, [La Russa] said, ‘You’ll pitch the eighth,’ ’’ Mendick said. “And I was like, ‘OK.’ It was a cool experience.’’
With three games bunched in a 24-hour period, La Russa rested players in the doubleheader Sunday and Monday morning. Moncada sat out Monday.
Moncada, off to a slow start with a .200/.318/.273 hitting line, had a good series defensively. He also reached base three times and drove in two runs against the team that signed him with a $31.5 million bonus in 2015 before trading him and Michael Kopech to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade in 2016.
“I am always motivated to play, but there is extra motivation to come here to [Fenway Park] to show them they made a mistake trading you,” Moncada said through translator Billy Russo. “I’m happy Kopech had his moment yesterday to prove and show them they made a mistake trading us.”
Rodon named AL Player of Week
Left-hander Carlos Rodon, who makes his first start Tuesday since throwing his no-hitter against the same Indians team Wednesday, was named American League Player of the Week, his first such honor.
After throwing 114 pitches in the no-hitter, Rodon is getting an extra day of rest. He’ll be matched up again with Zach Plesac, who was knocked out in the first inning last time.
Rodon hasn’t allowed a run in two starts and owns a 2.50 ERA in 16 career starts against the Indians.
Tim Anderson was 3-for-4, raising his -average to .364. Adam Eaton had two hits and drove in three runs at the top of the lineup.
• Luis Robert, batting third with Moncada getting the day off, had an RBI double. Robert is 9-for-23 (.391) in his last six games.
• Nick Madrigal had his first career triple and is 8-for-18 in his last five games.
• MVP Jose Abreu, meanwhile, was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. His average fell to .188.