The Zach Remillard show: White Sox win 4-3 behind historic major-league debut

Remillard drove in the tying run in the ninth inning and the go-ahead run in the 11th against the Mariners.

SHARE The Zach Remillard show: White Sox win 4-3 behind historic major-league debut
(From left) Zach Remillard, Elvis Andrus, Luis Robert Jr. and Clint Frazier celebrate the White Sox victory in Seattle Saturday. (AP)

(From left) Zach Remillard, Elvis Andrus, Luis Robert Jr. and Clint Frazier celebrate after a White Sox victory over the Seattle Mariners in extra innings of a baseball game, Saturday, June 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP)

AP Photos

SEATTLE — As major-league debuts go, White Sox infielder Zach Remillard’s was historic — and one for all career minor-leaguers who finally get their chance in the majors to celebrate.

‘‘I will never forget it,’’ Remillard said.

No, he won’t. But veteran teammates won’t, either, which is saying something.

‘‘Probably one of the better debuts I’ve ever seen, if not the best,’’ said Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi, who was 4-for-4 and reached base six times in six plate appearances in a 4-3, 11-inning victory Saturday against the Mariners. ‘‘He came into the game [off the bench] and made an impact in every single at-bat.’’

Remillard is the first player in the modern era (since 1901) to have a game-tying hit and a go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later in his debut. He also became the first Sox player to reach base four times in his debut since Johnny Callison in 1958.

The last three Sox to have game-winning hits in their major-league debuts are Frank Thomas in 1990, Jose Abreu in 2014 and Remillard, 29, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte when Yoan Moncada landed on the injured list Thursday.

‘‘The Remillard show,’’ said manager Pedro Grifol, who also made note of a running catch Remillard made on a pop fly.

Remillard scored Elvis Andrus with a one-out single to tie the score in the ninth. With two outs in the 11th, he put the Sox in front with another single that scored Andrus.

Jesse Scholtens, who has been teammates with Remillard at Charlotte for most of the season, pitched a scoreless 11th for the save, completing six innings of stellar relief that also included work from Gregory Santos, Keynan Middleton and Aaron Bummer.

For good measure, Remillard fielded J.P. Crawford’s ground ball to end the game with the tying run at second.

‘‘I don’t think you can fully put it into words,’’ Remillard said. ‘‘What you dream of is what exactly happened today. The amount of gratitude I have, how exciting it is to have my family here, I will never forget it.’’

Grifol told Remillard, who replaced Tim Anderson (sore shoulder) in the lineup in the fourth and played second base, moving Andrus to shortstop, to be himself. He walked and bunted for a single before his RBI hits.

‘‘That’s who he is,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘He’s a winner; he’s a baseball player. I saw it all spring. And he didn’t disappoint. There’s something to be said about somebody who has played as long as he has and been in the minor leagues for a while and has that desire, will and heart to be a big-leaguer. Makeup like his takes you a long way.”

Remillard’s heroics were the most dramatic acts of what Grifol called ‘‘the best win of the year for us.’’

‘‘This was a resilient, gutsy win,’’ he said.

The Sox now have a chance to win the series and finish their road trip 3-3.

Remillard helped make it possible by not letting the moment get to him. The game can speed up on first-timers, but it didn’t on him.

‘‘I attribute that to my faith and mental health,’’ Remillard said. ‘‘I work on that stuff a lot — my breathing and having that perspective. When I got here, it was such a validating weight lifted off my shoulder to where you just get to play the game and have fun.’’

Remillard said veteran reliever Joe Kelly told him there were two things that could happen Saturday.

‘‘ ‘You do good or you do bad,’ ” Remillard said. ‘‘That calmed me down. We’re just out here playing the game we love.’’

Remillard’s wife, parents, older brother and sister-in-law where there to see it.

‘‘It was emotional,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m trying to hold it together every second right now. I get in and out of almost crying . . . just seeing them. It’s a lot to take in.’’

The Latest
Cubs starter Jameson Taillon was charged with one run through 7 ⅓ innings
The boy was inside a car about 5:30 p.m. in the 8300 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue when someone approached him and fired shots, police said.
Lisa Kudrow leads the bumbling marauders in Apple’s funny follow-up to 1981 film.
Two men, a 46-year-old man from Washington state and a 55-year-old man from Franklin Park, were hospitalized in serious condition following a fire about 3 p.m. Tuesday. Their boat burned.