Leury Garcia and Yasmani Grandal spur White Sox to Game 3 comeback over Astros

Yasmani Grandal celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a 12-6 win.
Yasmani Grandal celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a 12-6 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday.
(Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)

Two big swings by pint-sized Leury Garcia. A rule-testing run by Yasmani Grandal. Solid relief work from Liam Hendriks and company.

Right when the Chicago White Sox got in big trouble, they found a way.

Garcia and Grandal homered, and Grandal’s borderline baserunning helped the White Sox top the Houston Astros 12-6 on Sunday night to stay alive in their American League Division Series.


Backed by a boisterous crowd of 40,288, the AL Central champions erased a 5-1 deficit in the franchise’s first home playoff game in 13 years. Tim Anderson collected three more hits, and Ryan Tepera started a stellar finish for Chicago’s bullpen after Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech struggled.

Houston was hoping to sweep its way into its fifth consecutive appearance in the AL Championship Series. The AL West champions got off to a fast start behind Kyle Tucker, but they failed to record a hit in the last five innings.

The Dodgers acquired Max Scherzer to be their playoff ace, but the veteran pitcher has struggled in recent starts. Will he turn things around vs. Giants?

“I think we made a statement,” Grandal said.

Game 4 of the best-of-five series is scheduled for Monday afternoon, but there is rain in the forecast.

The playoff-tested Astros rolled into Chicago after a pair of impressive victories at home, then jumped out to a 5-1 lead in Game 3. The sweet-swinging Tucker hit a two-run double off Cease in the second and a two-run homer off Kopech in the third.

Houston’s fast start silenced the towel-waving crowd, but it got revved up again in the bottom half of the third.

After Grandal’s two-run shot just over the wall in left made it 5-3, Yoan Moncada and Gavin Sheets reached on two-out singles. Leury Garcia then looked at two balls from Luis Garcia before Astros manager Dusty Baker replaced his starting pitcher with Yimi Garcia.

Once all the Garcias had been sorted out, the move backfired for the Astros. Leury Garcia, listed at 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds, drove a 3-1 pitch from Yimi Garcia deep to center for a 436-foot homer.

The game was tied at 6 when the White Sox went ahead to stay with three runs in the fourth — highlighted by a memorable run by Grandal that rankled Baker and the Astros.

After Jose Abreu’s tiebreaking RBI single put runners on the corners with none out, Grandal hit a bouncer to Yuli Gurriel at first. Gurriel tried to come home, but his throw went went off Grandal as the veteran catcher sprinted up the line in the infield grass.

Christian Vazquez hits a two-run homer over the green monster at Fenway Park to deliver a 6-4 win for the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS.

Luis Robert scored, taking out umpire Tom Hallion in the process, and Gurriel was charged with an error. The Astros lobbied for an interference call on Grandal, but the umpires huddled and left the play in place.

Baker then had a long argument with Hallion before returning to the dugout.

“I start running and then all of a sudden he’s throwing the ball right at me,” Grandal said. “I didn’t really think about what was going on at the plate.”