Birthday boy Garcia keeps rolling in White Sox’ win over O’s
Todd Frazier says he has the best seat in the house.
In the on-deck circle, watching Avisail Garcia bat.
“It’s fun to hit behind this guy,’’ Frazier said of the White Sox’ top All-Star candidate. “I get to see what the pitcher is throwing to this guy, who’s tearing the cover off the ball.’’
Watching Garcia keep on rolling, steadily and mightily, has been one of the enjoyable treats of the 2017 Sox. The right fielder, celebrating his 26th birthday, doubled and singled and drove in three runs, raising his RBI total to 45, in the Sox’ 10-7 victory Monday against the Orioles at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Garcia, who hit his team-high 14th double on a line off the center-field wall and bounced a two-run single through the middle of the infield, is batting .333 with 10 homers, a .371 on-base percentage and a .550 slugging percentage. Perhaps the most impressive thing about his numbers is the consistency. His “slumps” have been short-lived.
“His approaches have been consistent,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s still seeing the ball very well and controlling the strike zone better. It’s been a good run, and hopefully he adds to it as the season progresses.
“The balls in play for him are productive. He’s driving in runs and actually driving the ball.’’
Kevan Smith drove it, as well, mashing his first career homer over center fielder Adam Jones’ head to give the Sox a 2-0 lead against Wade Miley. Jones was nice enough to retrieve the keepsake for Smith, who was given the traditional beer shower by teammates after the game.
“Kind of a surreal moment,’’ Smith said. “Chris Davis steps up to the plate and congratulates me. One of those moments where you step back and go, ‘Wow.’ ’’
Jose Abreu had two hits, including a double, to raise his career average to .359 against the Orioles.
Right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who got a beer shower in Cleveland two days ago for reaching 10 years in the majors, worked three scoreless innings but walked five and gave up six hits and couldn’t finish the fourth.
“Very disappointing,’’ Pelfrey said. “Everything was off.’’
Everything was on for Jake Petricka (1-0), enjoying a better outing his second time out since coming off the disabled list because of a lat strain. He replaced Pelfrey and worked 2„ scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no walks.
The Sox led 10-2 after Matt Davidson belted his 11th homer off Miguel Castro, breaking a tie for the team homer lead with Garcia, Frazier and Abreu. The Orioles scored four in the eighth against Gregory Infante, three on Trey Mancini’s homer, and Renteria had to get closer David Robertson up in the bullpen in the ninth.
The Orioles would lose Davis to an oblique strain in the third and lost their fifth consecutive game.
After a 2-7 road trip, the Sox (27-35) opened a four-game series at home before 17,665 fans before they head on the road again.
Frazier, who cooled off with an 0-for-4 night after hitting .333 with five homers and 13 RBI in his previous 12 games, will be back Tuesday for more of the Garcia show.
“I get to watch him hit,’’ Frazier said. “And it helps me understand what they might try to do with me. He’s having a tremendous year. It’s great to observe.’’
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