CHICAGO – Tony La Russa chose to wait at least another day to talk about what it means to tie John McGraw for second place on baseball's all-time wins list.
The Hall of Fame manager chose to focus instead on the Chicago White Sox's latest victory. And it sure was a wild one.
Rookie Yermín Mercedes hit a game-ending single, Yasmani Grandal homered twice and the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 9-8 Friday night.
With the victory, La Russa tied McGraw for second place with win No. 2,763. The 76-year-old La Russa has a long way to go to catch Connie Mack, who won 3,731 games.
“I have things that I want to say about him,” La Russa said. “I'm not going to say them tonight, mostly because this is such a celebration of our ballclub, doing great to get ahead and coming back.”
The White Sox blew leads of 6-1 and 7-2, then regrouped to come away with the win.
“I keep talking about the guts of this team,” La Russa said. “Unless you give examples, it doesn’t bring it to life. ... We’re going to play a hard nine. Good things happen when you do.”
Yoán Moncada got hit by a pitch from José Cisnero (0-3) leading off the ninth and moved to third on a single by José Abreu.
Mercedes, in an 0-for-22 skid entering the game, then lined a single to left on a 1-0 pitch. That gave the White Sox their ninth win in 12 games and set off a celebration near first base.
“We fight all day, all game,” Mercedes said. “That's what we do. ... The big thing is we fight all night. We won the game.”
Grandal made it 1-0 with his home run in the second against Spencer Turnbull. Grandal tied it at 8 in the seventh with a solo shot against Bryan Garcia, his third homer in the past two games.
Nick Madrigal also homered for the White Sox.
Jonathan Schoop homered twice and matched a career high with four hits. He went deep leading off the sixth and cut it to cut it to 7-6 in the seventh with a three-run drive against Evan Marshall.
White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel threw six innings, allowing two runs — one earned — and five hits.
Liam Hendriks (2-1) came in runners on first and second and two outs in the ninth and retired Niko Goodrum on a fly, preserving the tie.
“Emotionally, you got to be able to handle the good and bad,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Tonight, there was a little bit of both of that. Proud of our fight, gave ourselves a chance. Obviously, got beat up a little bit in a couple of areas tonight.”
Turnbull left after the fourth inning because of muscle tightness in his right forearm. Hinch said he is scheduled for tests on Saturday.
The Tigers fell behind 6-1 after committing three errors in a five-run fifth, only to get right back into it.
Eric Haase added a two-run shot to put Detroit ahead 8-7 and cap a six-run seventh.
Turnbull threw just 56 pitches over four innings, allowing one run and two hits. The right-hander struck out four and did not walk a batter. But the Tigers lost to the White Sox for the 13th time in 14 games.
Tigers: RHP José Ureña (strained right forearm) remains on track to return from the injured list in time to start on Sunday, Hinch said.
White Sox: OF Andrew Vaughn could be ready to return from the COVID-19 injured list as soon as Saturday, La Russa said. He said the White Sox were “waiting on one last test” and expect him to get the "green light." The prized rookie was placed on the list on the list on Thursday. ... La Russa said “everything looks good” with RHP Lance Lynn after he experienced some tightness in Thursday's outing, and the team expects him to make his next scheduled start. ... La Russa said the White Sox should have a “better read” on when OF Adam Engel will be activated by the end of the weekend. Engel, who tore his right hamstring during a spring training game, is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (5-4, 3.73 ERA) looks to win his fourth straight start, while the Tigers go with LHP Tarik Skubal (2-7, 4.59). Giolito has a 1.29 ERA in his past three outings.
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