Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria led off the top of the sixth inning of Monday night’s game against the Royals with a double off of Eric Skoglund. With one out, Matt Duffy lined a single to right. Hechavarria tried to test the arm of right fielder Jorge Soler. Soler’s throw brought catcher Salvador Perez a couple of feet in front of home plate, which created space at the back of the plate for Hechavarria, who juked past a diving tag attempt, then did a swim move to trick Perez in order to safely touch home plate.
Duffy’s single and Hechavarria’s effort broke a 1-1 tie.
Hechavarria, 29, has otherwise not done much offensively. He entered Monday’s action batting .261/.295/.328 with a pair of home runs and 13 RBI in 131 plate appearances.
The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.
Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.
As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.