AJ Pollock choppered to third with two outs in the eighth inning Monday against the Houston Astros.
Alex Bregman charged but couldn’t reach the ball, and Pollock got on an infield hit.
It was the beginning of a great rally for the Chicago White Sox.
Pollock advanced to third on Andrew Vaughn’s double to right field and scored on Eloy Jimenez’s two-run double to left field that tied the game. The Sox took the lead later in the inning on Yoán Moncada’s two-run single to center field.
Pollock had two hits in a 4-2 win.. It was his third straight two-hit game, as he ranks first in the order of injured shortstop Tim Anderson.
Pollock had three hits, an RBI and a run on August 7 against the Texas Rangers in his first game as a leadoff hitter with Anderson out, first with a two-game suspension and then with a hand injury. And Pollock has kept hitting.
He led off Saturday with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly, adding a solo home run in the eighth in a 6–4 victory against the Detroit Tigers.
He homered Sunday leading off the third, then doubled in the fifth and scored the tying run. in a 5-3 win against Tigres.
Pollock went 11-for-28 with four doubles, two home runs, four RBIs and six runs in his first seven games with Anderson out. He slashed .393/.438/.750 during the streak.
“Honestly, it’s weird when you look at the numbers,” Pollock said before Monday’s game. “To me, they’re pretty skewed, but I don’t know if that’s weird or what.”
Pollock entered Tuesday’s must-see pitching matchup between Dylan Cease and Astros veteran Justin Verlander, hitting .397/.435/.641 in 18 games this season at No. 1.
“It really shouldn’t matter,” Pollock said of the spot in the lineup. “As a hitter you prepare the same way. Maybe he’ll make things go a little faster when he’s in the leadoff spot. But other than that, nothing really changes.”
He was 31-for-78 with seven doubles, four home runs, 12 RBIs and 14 runs in those 18 games.
“You look at his credentials,” La Russa said Sunday. “He is a quality hitter in the big leagues and a defender in the big leagues. He saw the need when Tim was missing. If he had to hit second, third or fourth, he would too.”
Overall, Pollock is slashing .246/.295/.378 with 20 doubles, seven home runs, 39 RBIs and 40 runs in 95 games.
He returned to the top spot and played center field on Tuesday. He was his 12th start at center this season, with 60 at left and 10 at right.
Starting center fielder Luis Robert continues to recover from a sprained left wrist suffered on Friday against the Tigers while trying to steal second base.
La Russa said before Tuesday’s game that the key is for Robert to improve his swing.
“Everything else is ready to go,” La Russa said. “He wasn’t close enough to 100% to play this game (Tuesday), but he’s undergoing treatment and we can’t wait to see what shots he makes.”
La Russa sees no need for Robert to go on the disabled list.
“He can play as soon as (Wednesday) or sometime in the next few days,” La Russa said. “He feels better, he just has to make changes.”
As for Anderson, the Red Sox shortstop will be out for six weeks after breaking the sagittal band on his left middle finger on Aug. 6 against the Rangers.
“He’s a quick healer,” La Russa said. “He’s always been ‘sooner than later,’ but he still has a cast on his finger. (No) he leaves until Thursday. I think once he starts to be functional it will happen pretty quickly. Not very fast, just faster than normal.”