Andrew Vaughn, White Sox end 10-game skid with 12-9 comeback win over Rays

The Sox entered the ninth down 9-5 but scored seven times to snap their 10-game losing streak, capped off by Vaughn’s walk-off three-run home run.

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Andrew Vaughn rounds the bases after hitting a walk-off, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday.

Andrew Vaughn rounds the bases after hitting a walk-off, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday.

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

It had all the makings of another White Sox debacle. Thanks to bad relief pitching and shoddy defense, the Sox, down four runs in the ninth inning, were three outs away from their 11th consecutive defeat.

Then the lineup started to chip away against Rays reliever Jalen Beeks. Jake Burger drove in a run with a double, Oscar Colas contributed a sacrifice fly and Elvis Andrus cut the deficit to one run with a single. Adam Haseley — starting in place of Luis Robert Jr. — tied the game with a single off Garrett Cleavinger.

Andrew Vaughn followed with a walk-off three-run home run, giving the Sox an improbable 12-9 victory Sunday to snap their 10-game losing streak.

“That felt like a huge weight off our shoulders,” Vaughn said. “April showers bring May flowers, so here we go.”

The Sox hope that’s the case.

A team supposedly in the middle of a championship window will enter May with an 8-21 record after a disastrous April. The Sox narrowly avoided losing 11 in a row for the first time since July 1956. “Sell the team!” chants directed at chairman Jerry Reinsdorf were loud Saturday night, and the questions about the team’s construction have only gotten louder during the nosedive.

The comeback victory won’t solve those issues, but at least it was something positive for a team in desperate need of any good news.

“We’ve got some fight in that clubhouse,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “It takes the ball bouncing your way one time to just lift everybody up and put us in that mindset of: This can happen.”

The big rally was necessary because of what preceded it in front of an announced crowd of 17,049.

Before leaving with a trainer, Reynaldo Lopez allowed Luke Raley’s go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning. Kendall Graveman gave up two more runs in the eighth (one earned) before Aaron Bummer surrendered two more in the ninth.

Romy Gonzalez — who stayed in the game after pinch-running for Robert, who pinch-hit for Gavin Sheets and was hit by a pitch — dropped a fly ball in left, leading to a run in the eighth.

That recipe usually leads to a loss, but it didn’t this time. The way the Sox pulled off the win also might help.

“I think that was almost more beneficial for us as a club than if we put up 12 in the first,” said starter Mike Clevinger, who went five innings and allowed two runs. “That’s the morale-booster we need.”

The Sox also need their lineup to function the way it did in the ninth, when it allowed Beeks to work himself into trouble.

“Happy for Andrew and everybody in that inning who contributed,” said Haseley, who tied a career high with four hits. “It was a really cool moment.”

For it to be more than just a blip in a lost season, the Sox have plenty to do. Though he didn’t say it, Grifol seems to understand that reality.

“Just like I say flush it on the bad ones, I’m not going to say that yet on this one because I still want to enjoy it a little bit, but we’ve got to flush this one, too, at some point and get back to work on Tuesday,” Grifol said. “I want them to enjoy it, though, because that doesn’t really happen that often in this game — seven runs in the last inning to walk them off — but once we get here Tuesday, we’ve got to flush this one and get to work.”

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