Another loss for White Sox, but a good series for Yoan Moncada
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CINCINNATI — Yoan Moncada had a pretty good series.
That is notable because the second baseman has encountered more struggles than he expected in his first full major-league season and hasn’t had an abundance of great games.
A day after Moncada broke a tie in the 12th inning with a bases-loaded triple in the Sox’ 12-8 victory Tuesday against the Reds, he hit a two-run home run in the third inning of their 7-4 loss Wednesday. Moncada was 6-for-15 with a homer, a triple, two doubles and six RBI in the series.
‘‘He was a little more aggressive in the strike zone,’’ manager Rick Renteria said of Moncada. ‘‘And defensively, his reactions to the ball off the bat were good. He’s been real focused up there.’’
“I have been more aggressive,” Moncada said through interpreter Billy Russo. “That has been part of the adjustment process with my offense.
“I have learned a lot. This is a process. I know there are still plenty of things I need to learn. I am just trying to learn a little bit more every day.”
Moncada’s homer and Daniel Palka’s solo shot in the fourth provided a 3-0 lead for right-hander Dylan Covey, who had retired his first nine batters.
But the Reds blitzed Covey for six runs on five singles, a walk and a hit batsman in the fourth. The Reds hit almost everything up the middle and got their final run of the inning on a squeeze bunt by pitcher Sal Romano before Renteria replaced Covey.
“My pitches were just elevated and were just too good for them to put on the ground,” Covey said.
The Sox pulled to 6-4 on an RBI double by Yolmer Sanchez in the fifth, but Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton prevented them from getting any closer by throwing out Jose Abreu at the plate after a single by Leury Garcia in the eighth.
The Reds added a run when Sox right-hander Chris Volstad botched an easy forceout on a comebacker to the right of the mound in the eighth, throwing in the dirt and to catcher Omar Narvaez’s right.
Covey (3-4, 5.54 ERA) has allowed 24 runs in his last four starts after compiling a 2.29 ERA in his first six.
This and that
The Sox are expected to announce the signing Thursday of first-round draft choice Nick Madrigal, a middle infielder from Oregon State. Madrigal, the No. 4 overall pick, has agreed to a bonus at the $6,411,400 slot value and is expected to be in uniform for the Arizona League Sox on Thursday.
• Renteria insisted that Abreu, who returned to lineup after missing a start with a bruised ankle caused by a foul ball, wear a shin guard. He had one on his desk.
‘‘I’ll be carrying this and making sure he’s wearing it every day,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘If he wants to stay in the lineup, he has to wear this.’’
Abreu fouled a pitch off the guard in the eighth and was in obvious pain.
• Right fielder Avisail Garcia extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with a double in the sixth.