Third baseman raises average 21 points with 4-hit night vs. Rangers
By Dave Sessions
Special to MLB.com |
ARLINGTON -- Despite leading the White Sox in homers, Todd Frazier has had his share of struggles early this season, entering Monday's game against the Rangers hitting just .194.
Frazier said he has tried not to worry excessively about his average, though, and after his grand slam blew the lid off a 12-inning nail-biter and gave the White Sox an 8-4 victory on Monday, there's less to worry about. Frazier went 4-for-6, including the decisive grand slam and a solo homer in the sixth, and raised his average from .194 to .215 in the span of four hours. He had a career-high six RBIs.
"I've come up with some big at-bats, as the struggles happened, there have been some situations where I've done good," Frazier said. "My numbers have always been good besides the batting average, and I know eventually that'll take care of itself."
Monday's outburst was the first-year White Sox third baseman's seventh career multi-homer game, and first since June 17 last season against the Tigers -- a game in which he hit a 13th-inning walk-off grand slam for the Reds. It helped the White Sox win their fourth consecutive game and their 15th out of 20.
"We know he's going to heat up, we know he's going to hit homers, and for us it couldn't come at a better time," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
Frazier went deep off Rangers starter Colby Lewis in the sixth inning, hitting a ball 357 feet straight down the left-field line; the homer just squeaked out, landing a few seats to the right of the foul pole not far into the stands.
There was much less doubt about the ball Frazier crushed in the 12th. It was a 1-0 changeup from Cesar Ramos that left the bat at 98 mph and traveled 389 feet, according to Statcast™.
"It felt really good," Frazier said. "It's something that we've been working on. With experience you understand that it's going to come around and I'm just glad it came today, in extra innings. It felt good … It just clicked. You're here for a reason and when you try and play too much and try and look too far ahead of things sometimes it just gets in the way and you don't do your job."
Frazier's slam broke open a game that had been incredibly close until that point. The Rangers tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth inning, the White Sox went ahead on a safety squeeze play by Austin Jackson in the top of the ninth, and then the Rangers tied the game again in the bottom of the ninth.
"It makes it that much more fun -- any way you can get runs in, but that one basically sealed it," Frazier said.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the White Sox on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.