CHICAGO (670 The Score) – After noticing a trend, White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera indicated the Astros may have been stealing signs in the first two games of the American League Division Series between the clubs.
Tepera shared his skepticism about the Astros late Sunday night after the White Sox earned a 12-6 win in Game 3 at Guaranteed Rate to cut their series deficit to 2-1 and keep their season alive. The Astros struck out 16 times in Game 3 after whiffing a combined 16 times in the first two games, both of which Houston won at its home of Minute Maid Park.
"Obviously, it's a different game here at our field," Tepera said. "They play at Minute Maid and they're doing something over there that's a little different. It shows you how many swings and misses they had tonight compared to at Minute Maid. That's why you have home-field advantage.
“It is what it is. They’ve obviously had a reputation of doing some sketchy stuff over there. It’s just, we can say that it’s a little bit of a difference. I think you saw the swings and misses tonight compared to, you know, the first two games at Minute Maid. But that’s not really the story, you know?
"We come here to play. We’re going to compete. We’re not going to worry about what they’re going to do. All we have to do is execute pitches, and they can't hit them anyways.”
Following an investigation, MLB found that the Astros used technology to steal signs in their 2017 World Series championship run and also during the 2018 season. The Astros used a video feed from a camera in center field to decipher opposing teams’ signs, then relayed the incoming pitch type to batters by banging on trash cans. It’s illegal to use technology in MLB to steal signs.
Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired as part of the scandal, though no players were punished as part of MLB’s immunity deal with them. The Astros have been a villain across baseball ever since.
Tepera proved to be a key player in the White Sox’s win in Game 3, throwing two perfect innings of relief after entering in the top of the fifth. The White Sox’s bullpen struck out 14 Astros in 7 1/3 innings after starter Dylan Cease went 1 2/3 innings.
Game 4 in the best-of-5 series is set for Monday afternoon in Chicago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.