En­car­na­cion finds his swing

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY MARK POTASH, STAFF RE­PORTER mpotash@sun­times.com | @MarkPo­tash

White Sox man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria has kept the faith that Ed­win En­car­na­cion will break out of a sea­son­long slump. It paid off Sun­day.

En­car­na­cion, hit­ting .163 at the time af­ter strik­ing out in the first in­ning, pop­ping out to short in the third and strik­ing out again in the sixth, hit a three-run homer to deep left field that gave the Sox a 5-0 lead af­ter starter Dal­las Keuchel left the game with lower back stiff­ness.

En­car­na­cion, who signed a one-year, $12 mil­lion con­tract with the Sox in the off­sea­son, has eight home runs and 15 RBI this sea­son. But he is hit­ting .179 — his bat­ting av­er­age never has been higher than .219 this year.

“He con­tin­ues to chip away at what he does,” Ren­te­ria said. “He got a pitch to han­dle, he put it into the wa­ter, pretty deeply. He’s a pro­fes­sional. I don’t have to worry about Ed­win. If I felt he didn’t have the quick twitch any­more, it would be more of a con­cern.”

En­car­na­cion, who home­red off Danny Duffy on Thurs­day, got a day off Satur­day.

“It’s just fall­ing into rhythm and tim­ing,” Ren­te­ria said. “He’s go­ing to con­tinue to do what he does. Ob­vi­ously with be­ing able to use both Pito [Jose Abreu] and or Yazzy [Yas­mani Gran­dal ]as a DH, it gives an op­por­tu­nity to also spell Ed­win every now and then. It keeps them all fresh. He’s do­ing very well.”

Bot­tom’s up

No. 9 hit­ter Yolmer Sanchez had two dou­bles and two runs scored as the bot­tom of the or­der — No­mar Mazara (2-for-5), Danny Men­dick (2-for-5) and Sanchez (2-for-3) — com­bined to go 6-for-13 with three dou­bles and walk.

Mon­cada rested

With Yoan Mon­cada still feel­ing the ef­fects of the COVID-19 virus and a leg in­jury, the third base­man was given a day off ahead of Mon­day’s off day. Mon­cada is 1-for-16 in his last five games and is hit­ting .191 with three home runs and 13 RBI in his last 25 games af­ter a hot start.

“This is ac­tu­ally just pro­to­col we’re fol­low­ing to give him and his legs and ev­ery­thing we’re try­ing to do to keep him on the field as healthy as pos­si­ble,” Ren­te­ria said.

Robert’s catch goes vi­ral

Luis Robert’s div­ing catch in the ninth in­ning Satur­day was still a hot topic Sun­day. The Sox’ twit­ter ac­count tweeted video of the catch four times.

“At first I didn’t think it was that good,” Robert said through a team trans­la­tor, “but then af­ter the game I saw the re­play and then I saw they were show­ing the play on TV and so­cial me­dia and that’s when I re­al­ized, yes, it was a good play.”

The play had a 15% catch prob­a­bil­ity, per Stat­cast.

“[There] wasn’t much time to think about it,” Robert said. “As soon as I saw the ball come off the bat, I just went af­ter it. I al­ways do, every time I see the ball in the air, I just run af­ter it think­ing I have a chance. For­tu­nately, I was able to catch the ball.”

GETTY IM­AGES

Ed­win En­car­na­cion hit a three-run home run in the sev­enth in­ning and added an RBI sin­gle in the eighth Sun­day.

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