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Jiménez hits 2 HR, White Sox turn triple play to beat Astros

May 23, 2019
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Chicago White Sox's Charlie Tilson (22) is congratulated by third base coach Nick Capra after hitting a grand slam against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — The Chicago White Sox used a rare combination to beat the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.

Charlie Tilson hit a grand slam for his first career homer and the White Sox turned the only triple play in the majors this season during a 9-4 victory.

It’s the first time in franchise history the White Sox have smacked a grand slam and pulled off a triple play in the same game — and only the fourth time a major league team has done it since 1979. The last club to accomplish the feat was the Detroit Tigers on Sept. 8, 2017.

“The guys today swung the bats very well,” manager Rick Renteria said. “All around just a pretty good game with a few double plays and a triple play to boot.”

Eloy Jiménez homered twice for Chicago, and Tilson’s slam highlighted a six-run sixth inning.

A night after managing just one hit in a 5-1 loss, the White Sox got going early in this one, with Jimenéz connecting in the second inning and Jose Abreu adding a solo shot in the fourth to give them a 2-0 lead.

The Astros got a homer from Alex Bregman in a three-run fourth to go on top before Chicago’s big inning.

Leury García got things started in the sixth with a single and went to second on an error by left fielder Michael Brantley. The White Sox tied it at 3 when García scored on a single by Yoán Moncada.

Abreu singled before Gerrit Cole (4-5) was chased by James McCann’s RBI double that put Chicago up 4-3. He was replaced by Josh James, who walked Yonder Alonso to load the bases. There were two outs when Tilson, who has played 58 games over three big league seasons, launched a 98 mph fastball into the right field seats to extend the lead to 8-3.

“It was very special,” Tilson said. “A long time coming, but couldn’t have asked for a better moment to do it.”

Jimenéz, who was 0 for 7 in his first two games after spending almost a month on the injured list with an ankle problem, added a second solo homer in the eighth for the rookie’s second career multihomer game.

“It was a couple of tough days, especially yesterday,” Jimenéz said. “It was good for me because it was against one of the best pitchers, too. He’s got really good stuff.”

White Sox starter Ivan Nova (3-4) allowed 10 hits but just three runs in seven-plus innings to bounce back after giving up nine runs in his previous start. He was helped by a defense that turned four double plays and ended the third inning with Chicago’s first triple play since July 2016 against Atlanta.

With runners on first and second, speedy Jake Marisnick hit a grounder down the third base line to Moncada. He stepped on the bag for the first out and threw to Yolmer Sanchez at second. Sanchez relayed to first, where the ball just beat Marisnick.

“It takes a perfect alignment of the stars,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “It was not our night.”

Because he was in the perfect spot to grab Marisnick’s grounder, Moncada thought the White Sox might be able to get three outs as soon as he touched third.

“Honestly, yes,” he said through a translator. “I just reacted and from there the play was easy.”

Houston last hit into a triple play on April 19, 2018, against the Mariners.

Cole yielded seven hits and six runs while striking out seven in five-plus innings.

“I was just off,” he said. “It wasn’t a good night. I wasn’t synced up enough in my delivery.”

Abreu, who broke up Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid with a homer in the seventh inning Tuesday night, went deep with one out in the fourth to make it 2-0.

Bregman cut the lead to one on his homer with one out in the fourth. Brantley followed with a single before scoring on a double by Carlos Correa to tie it. Correa, who reached third on the throw home, evaded a tag to score on a sacrifice fly by Aledmys Diaz that put Houston on top 3-2.

Bregman’s homer extended Houston’s streak of games with at least one to 19, which ties the longest run in franchise history. The Astros also homered in 19 straight games in 2017.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF George Springer took swings for the first time since leaving Sunday’s game with stiffness in his lower back. Hinch said Springer is improving but still day to day. ... 2B Jose Altuve (hamstring) did extensive running and is moving closer to a rehab assignment.

THEY SAID IT

Hinch on all the double plays and the triple play the White Sox turned: “Four plus one. That’s a lot of outs. They come fast ... it ends rallies. The craziest one when you have Jake up and he hits a bullet down the line. He’s standing there, and that should have been a sign of bad things to come.”

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (5-1, 3.35 ERA) pitches the series finale Thursday. Giolito allowed three hits and one run over five innings against the Blue Jays in his last start to extend his winning streak to a career-high four games.

Astros: RHP Corbin Martin (1-0, 3.86) is scheduled to make his third career start. The rookie yielded five hits and three runs in four innings last time out against the Red Sox.

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