CHICAGO (AP) — White Sox rookie catcher Seby Zavala hit the first three home runs of his career, including a grand slam, but the Cleveland Indians rallied to beat Chicago, 12-11, on Saturday night.
Austin Hedges, Owen Miller and Amed Rosario homered to help Cleveland overcome a five-run deficit.
Zavala became the first player in big league history to hit his first three career home runs in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The 27-year-old Zavala played his 18th game in the majors — he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on July 6 to replace the injured Yasmani Grandal.
Batting ninth, Zavala hit a solo homer in the third off Triston McKenzie. Zavala connected for a grand slam off McKenize in the fourth for a 6-1 lead and a solo drive against Bryan Shaw in the seventh.
“I always knew I could swing it,” Zavala said. “Going through a rough patch for a couple of months, I knew if I kept working, something would click and I feel pretty good at the plate.”
With a chance to become the 19th player to hit a record-tying four homers in a game, Zavala singled in the eighth and finished with six RBIs.
Zavala was 4 for 28 with 13 strikeouts in 12 games for the White Sox this season before breaking loose. He went 1 for 12 in five games with Chicago in 2019.
Brian Goodwin and Adam Engel also homered for the White Sox, who lead the second-place Indians by eight games in the AL Central despite winning just three times in their last 10 games.
The Indians totaled nine runs in three straight innings to take the lead. Justin Garza (1-0) threw two scoreless innings. Emmanuel Clase got five outs for his 13th save.
“For us to come back and score nine unanswered runs, that’s huge,” said center fielder Myles Straw, acquired Friday from Houston. “You don’t really see that a whole lot in baseball. It just kind of shows a lot about this team. It was a crazy and very exciting first game for me.”
Engel hit a two-run homer and José Abreu added an RBI single to pull the White Sox within one in the eighth.
Miller and Hedges hit back-to-back drives in the fifth to cut the White Sox lead to 6-3. It was Miller’s first career homer.