Together at last: Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada homer in White Sox’ win
Eloy Jimenez hit his 25th home run in grand style Tuesday night.
Yoan Moncada’s 23rd homer carried 452 feet to center.
It marked the first time the White Sox’ prized young talents homered in the same game.
“It’s really cool,” Jimenez said. “I hear that was the first game Moncada and me hit a home run in the same game. That is really good. That is the first for many to come.”
Jimenez poked an opposite-field shot off right-hander Jakob Junis into the Royals bullpen in the first inning for his first career grand slam, passing the Astros’ Yordan Alvarez for the American League rookie lead season. The slam gave him 62 RBI, which is second behind Alvarez.
“He has had his little sputters but has continued to learn and build from it,” manager Rick Renteria said before the game. “He’s well on his way to becoming the player we want him to be, on both sides of the ball. We want him to be a nine-inning defender. We want him to be the clutch hitter we need and the guy that ends up ultimately doing a lot of different things, from batting average to driving in runs to hitting balls out of the ballpark.’’
The ball was flying out of the park. Adam Engel also homered, and the Royals’ Adalberto Mondesi, Alex Gordon and Ryan O’Hearn hit solo shots in the first two innings against the Sox’ Ivan Nova (10-12).
Renteria’s return brief
With his right arm in a sling, Renteria returned to the dugout — but only at the outset of the game — after having rotator cuff surgery Friday. He missed three games and wasn’t a sure bet to return Tuesday after a procedure that was more extensive than was hoped.
“I’m fine,” Renteria said before the game. “Really, I feel great.”
But Renteria watched most of the game from his office.
“He felt a little uncomfortable,” said bench coach Joe McEwing, who took over managerial duties. “And we said, ‘Just take it in, get some rest.’ He’s good. We anticipate him being here [Wednesday].”
Time away for Cooper, too
Pitching coach Don Cooper, who had a minor surgical procedure on his hand, missed the game and is expected back Wednesday.
Bullpen coach Curt Hasler assumed Cooper’s duties.
Putting things in perspective
As a 12-year-old in 2016, young Sox fan Shane Callaghan met Jose Abreu before a Sox-Indians game in September. Shane was receiving chemotherapy treatment for bone cancer in his left leg, and Abreu told him he would try to hit a home run for him.
Abreu came through with a 406-foot, game-tying blast in a 2-1 Sox victory.
“Those are very emotional moments,” Abreu said at the time.
Shane returned to Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday for Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, taking part in the Take the Field experience at first base in his wheelchair alongside Abreu. The emotions ran deeper this time with the knowledge that Shane likely will celebrate his last birthday Sunday.
“The 15th is his golden birthday, and he wanted to come back for that,” Shane’s father, Casey Callaghan, said. “This was on his bucket list. The White Sox went over the top — they gave us a suite and a baseball bat players signed for him on the field. The whole family is here, and he’s in heaven.”
Abreu nearly hit his 32nd homer, bouncing a double off the wall in left center in the seventh and scoring on Moncada’s homer against Kevin McCarthy.