Yoán Moncada appears again in the 8th as the Chicago White Sox come from behind to beat the Houston Astros 4-3

Yoán Moncada walked out of the box after time expired in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros.

Tuesday’s game at Guaranteed Rate Field was tied and the go-ahead streak was in scoring position.

The Chicago White Sox third baseman had been in a similar situation before. One night before, to be exact.

“I went in there just trying to make contact with the ball, trying to get a good pitch to hit and make contact with,” Moncada said through an interpreter.

For the second straight game, Moncada came out ahead with a single to center field. Pinch runner Adam Engel scored from third to give the Sox the lead in a 4-3 victory in front of 23,476.

“Being able to get ahead in those situations is special,” Moncada said. “Those are the situations where the game is on the line, and being able to produce there definitely makes you feel good.”

The Sox pulled off an impressive comeback against the defending AL champions for the second night in a row to extend their winning streak to five. They remain tied for second place in the AL Central with the Minnesota Twins, but both teams moved within a game of the first-place Cleveland Guardians.

The Sox won 4-2 on Monday Moncada broke a tie at 2 with a two-out, two-run single to center field in the eighth on the first pitch of his at-bat against Rafael Montero.

On Tuesday, he took a ball against Hector Neris and, after the brief pause, hit the second pitch to center to bring Engel home.

“That brings out the best in him,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He’s great in that situation.”

Tuesday’s game began with the buzz of two AL Cy Young candidates, starting with the Sox’s Dylan Cease and the Astros’ Justin Verlander.

Cease allowed three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings.

“It wasn’t my sharpest start, but it was close enough to keep us on it and then everybody else picked me up,” Cease said.

It’s the first time he’s allowed at least two earned runs in a start since May 24, when he gave up seven against the Boston Red Sox. Tuesday’s start ended a record streak of 14 straight in which he gave up one earned run or none.

“He wasn’t ready, but if he doesn’t compete like he did, the comeback is not possible against Verlander,” La Russa said. “It’s a different kind of pat on the back. Five innings, he gutted it.”

The Sox trailed 3-1 in the seventh when Gavin Sheets pinch hit for Lenyn Sosa with runners on first and second and one out.

Sheets hit a double to right. Josh Harrison and Seby Zavala scored to tie the game.

Sheets said he was thinking about “putting (Verlander) in the zone.”

“The main thing, first and second, I want to get the ball in the air,” Sheets said. “I didn’t want to hit something on the ground and get a double play. I assumed that was his main objective right there to put me on the ground. He went to the breaking ball and my main thought was to get something in the air and something in the strike zone.

“I was able to do that and I was just hoping Seby would score.”

Verlander allowed three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk in seven innings.

The Red Sox reached the Astros’ bullpen again, and Liam Hendriks pitched a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save in five games and 27th of the season.

Sheets said the last two wins show the Sox have “a lot of fight.”

“We are a good team, that’s the most important thing,” he said. “Everyone here believes it and knows it. We can feel the support of the crowd. We can feel the energy and it’s exciting.”

The Red Sox are five games over .500, a season-high, and they’re playing their best baseball at a crucial time.

“Every win is important,” Sheets said. “But it is the moment of the season where the push is, the sprint. The season is a marathon, but right now it’s a sprint to the final, to the playoffs. We’re going to do everything we can.

“This is a great series against a great team. We’re going to focus one day at a time.”

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