Yoan Moncada was the key piece the White Sox received when they dealt star pitcher Chris Sale to Boston before the season began. Rated baseball's top prospect back then, the 22-year-old Cuban infielder was hitting just .196 when the evening began but he left a hero on Thursday night, keying a 3-2 extra-inning series sweeper against the league-leading Astros who continue to look anything like baseball's best team of the first four months.
Peacock: Quality start unrewarded
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Brad Peacock, arguably Houston's ace starter for the time being, allowed one run on 6-1/3rd innings and took a lead to the showers but Moncada provided the heroics to spoil Peacock's night and rob him of his 11th victory of the year.
Jake Marisnick launched a monster shot in the third off Carlos Rodon for his 14th homer of the season and Marwin Gonzalez doubled into the right-center gap in the sixth to chase home Yuli Gurriel for a 2-0 advantage.
Avisail Garcia doubled to open the bottom of the sixth and Nicky Delmonico moved him to third with a base hit. Garcia scored Chicago's first run on a fielders choice by Yolmer Sanchez but Peacock worked out of further trouble to keep the lead.
Chris Devenski and Luke Gregerson worked their way out of mischief the next two innings which left Ken Giles to nail down the save and salvage something from the series. Instead, Moncada caught enough of a low-and-away 99-mph fastball to send it over the fence in left center to tie the game.
Rodon, the former overall third pick in the 2014 draft, worked eight solid innings before the ChiSox bullpen picked him up. The Astros threatened in the last three frames but could not muster the hit that would produce a go-ahead run.
Frances Martes struck out the side in the tenth but was greeted in the 11th by a single from Leury Garcia who advanced to second when Josh Reddick misplayed the ball in right. Next up was Moncade who beat the shift with a scorcher past a diving Gonzalez into center while Garcia came home and started the walk-off celebration.
Alex Bregman had a single and a walk but did not extend his streak of extra-base hits, ending with a record-tying ten games. Gonzalez, meanwhile, moved into a tie with injured Carlos Correa for the team lead in RBIs with 67.
Up next are the always-troublesome Rangers at the Broilpark in Arlington for a weekend shindig. Charlie Morton (9-4) will try to break the hex in Friday's 7:05 Central duel. Lefty Cole Hamels (6-1), who turned down a deadline trade to the Astros two years ago because he "wanted to play for a winner", gets the start for the 54-59 Rangers in the opener. The Astros lost seven games all of May and have now dropped seven this month without reaching mid-August.
- Bob Hulsey