Patient Avi walks tall with game on the line

Slugger hits 3-run homer, takes walk-off walk

Patient Avi walks tall with game on the line

CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Wednesday's 6-5 White Sox victory over the Rays in 10 innings that carried 420 feet to left field. That second homer in two at-bats dating back to the end of Tuesday's game was a good sign for the right fielder, who has been working on timing and using his hands more instead of his body in the swing.

But it was Garcia's patience in the 10th that stood out on this day. Garcia drew the rare walk-off walk from Tampa Bay closer Brad Boxberger to force home Adam Eaton and ensure the White Sox (51-55) would not go 0-6 against the Rays this season.

That walk was Garcia's 21st against 99 strikeouts.

Garcia's walk-off walk

"Yeah. I was trying to be relaxed, focused, looking for a good pitch," said Garcia, who has nine home runs, 38 RBIs and a .315 on-base percentage. "Don't try to do too much because it's one out, the bases loaded. I just tried to be focused and be patient."

"For him to be able to do that and look comfortable doing it, not looking like he had a trigger finger going … ," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "But he needs to do that. That's part of the rumor going around about him, he's going to swing at everything. He's got to be able to shorten up and be able to get it in the zone and do something with it."

Cabrera's injury

Garcia's free pass served as the final moment of an interesting 10th, ultimately pushing the White Sox record in extra innings to 9-3. Eaton singled, swiped second and went to third when the ball glanced off shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera's glove, hit him in the right side of the face and rolled away. After a Tyler Saladino flyout, in which third-base coach Joe McEwing held Eaton, Rays manager Kevin Cash elected to intentionally walk Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera.

Boxberger unintentionally walked Garcia, not really coming close on the four pitches out of the zone. Garcia now has a walk and a hit-by-pitch to end games this season.

Ventura on 6-5 win in extras

"I'm working really hard with [hitting coach Todd] Steverson and the manager a little, too," Garcia said. "Just trying to be focused and trying to swing at good pitches and trying to learn how they are going to throw to me."

"Avisail's an aggressive hitter, but he stayed patient, which was great," Eaton said. "It was a crazy day, and to have a walk-off walk is par for the course for the day."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for 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.