Thompson gets even with diving catch vs. KC

Thompson gets even with diving catch vs. KC

CHICAGO -- Trayce Thompson wouldn't say he got even, but the White Sox outfielder made a run-saving catch of his own. His diving grab ultimately helped the White Sox escape a jam in the seventh inning en route to a 4-2 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

The rookie had his potential sixth home run of the season taken away by a leaping catch at the wall in center field by the Royals' Lorenzo Cain leading off the second inning. Cain, an All-Star center fielder, made sure to say 'My bad,' to Thompson later in the game.

Cain's great grab

In the seventh, with Alcides Escobar on first and two out, Thompson closed quickly on Ben Zobrist's line drive toward left-center that looked as if it would be a game-tying extra-base hit. And Thompson made the grab with a full layout dive, making it in time for a ball projected by Statcast™ to leave Zobrist's bat at 95 mph.

"I actually kind of moved in a little shallower because I knew Zobrist probably wasn't going to hit one over my head," Thompson said. "Every ball off the bat, you have to be ready every single pitch because it's those balls right at the end of your reach, those are the balls you wait for so you have to be ready every single time."

Added White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija: "I've seen some good catches before, been a part of a couple here and there, and that was one of the coolest ones I've seen in awhile. He closed a big gap on the ball and sold out for it."

The 24-year old Thompson, who has seen more playing time of late, made his first diving catch since injuring his arm trying to make a catch against Oakland two weeks ago. On Tuesday, Thompson said, he felt the confidence to make that catch.

"It's nice to get it out of the way," Thompson said. "You have to play your hardest 100 percent of the time and injuries are part of the game."

Called up on Aug. 3, Thompson was used sporadically before making appearances every day. This season, he's hitting .295 with a .357 on-base percentage and 15 RBIs, but it's his defense that has teammates raving.

Thompson finished Tuesday's game 1-for-3 with a walk. After hitting .469 in August, Thompson has cooled down, but he has made an impact.

"That guy needs to be in the lineup," Samardzija said. "I think he's proven here in the last few weeks that he's going to be there and be there for awhile. Dude can hit .050 for all I care. If you put that glove out there in the field, he's going to make plays for you, a lot like that Cain guy they have out there in their center field.

"You've got to want to be in the Top 10 [plays] every night, and that's what it's all about. And he has that."

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.