Josh Phegley got the Gatorade bath. The happy beating from his teammates. And a special something Gordon Beckham had learned from A.J. Pierzynski. Which was fitting because the former Sox catcher was behind the plate when Sox rookie catcher Phegley delivered the first game-ending hit of his career. Phegley’s two-out single in the ninth Saturday night scored Avisail Garcia to give the Sox a 3-2 victory over the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field stopping the American League West leaders’ road winning streak at nine. It came in Phegley’s 37th major league game. “It’s awesome” Phegley said of his teammates’ reaction. “It’s the best beating of your life. I know Beckham was in there giving me some good shots to the mid-section. As soon as you get that hit you can’t feel anything for the next 10 minutes.” Beckham who singled and scored on Adam Dunn’s game-tying two-run homer off Rangers ace Yu Darvish in the sixth said he was reprising the initiation rite he experienced after his first game-ending hit as a rookie. “I took a page out of A.J.’s book when I walked off (against) the Cubs” Beckham said. “He did the same thing to me. So I figured ‘Why not?’ It’s a really cool feeling for him (Phegley). “I hit him with an upper cut to the chest. But I took it easy on him.’’ Darvish who leads the major leagues in strikeouts added 11 in his seven innings of six-hit ball the 10th game this season in which he has struck out 10 or more. Darvish went into Saturday night’s start leading the majors in strikeouts and leading the American League in opponents’ batting average. In the 41.2 innings of his first six starts since coming off the disabled list with a shoulder strain in mid-July Darvish had allowed just 26 hits 8 earned runs and struck out 57. Sox starter Hector Santiago worked 6 1/3 innings shutting out the Rangers until former teammates Pierzynski and Alex Rios (two-run homer) got to him in the sixth. Both Darvish and Santiago strung zeroes through five innings although Santiago's opening three innings were fraught with peril -- seven baserunners on three hits two walks and two hit batsmen -- one of them Pierzynski.
Phegley walk-off single makes Sox 3-2 winners over Rangers
Chicago Tribune | Aug 25