Saladino stoked over first hit, RBI off Lester

Saladino stoked over first hit, RBI off Lester

CHICAGO -- There was an honest attempt made by Tyler Saladino to describe his first Major League hit coming in the first inning of a 5-1 White Sox victory over the Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

But the euphoric rookie third baseman couldn't find the words to explain what a run-scoring triple off of an accomplished pitcher such as Jon Lester really means.

"It's the first thing I can actually say I'm speechless about," Saladino said. "I can't really put it into words. The whole thing, you know, Lester, triple, first hit, RBI, it's about as cool as it gets."

Saladino followed an Adam Eaton leadoff double to left-center with a line drive on a 1-0 offering from Lester into right-center to get the White Sox going immediately, something missing this season with a 65-27 first-inning deficit overall. Saladino went 0-for-3 in his remaining at-bats, including having a hit taken away by video replay, but it was that first-inning connection that truly set the tone.

"Anytime you go out and you have Lester out there, he just seems to settle in," manager Robin Ventura said of the two-run opening frame. "These guys have hooked up with him before. There wasn't much going on offensively, so if you let him settle in, it makes for a long day."

"Especially in the game when it's a situational at-bat and then to turn it into that makes it that much better," Saladino said.

The White Sox added Saladino and went one reliever short this weekend because they wanted the extra position player in the National League ballpark. But a case could be made for the right-handed hitter to stay longer than three games, with the energy and solid defense across the infield he brings.

Even if the future holds a quick return to the Minors, Saladino certainly won't forget his first weekend in the Majors, his first hit, run scored and RBI and helping the White Sox get two victories.

"This is as good as it gets for me," Saladino said. "I've never seen anything like it and everything is magnified, every play, everything sets 'em off.

"There were some nerves, definitely some nerves. I was just trying to have fun with it, compete the best I can but still enjoy the moment and have fun with it. Ultimately, we won and that's what matters so it made for a great day."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.