WHITE SOX 3 BRAVES 1
CHICAGO — Casper Wells did not realize how significant his catch was until he turned to look at the Jumbotron after he helped save a victory for the White Sox.
Wells robbed Reed Johnson of a home run in the eighth inning to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Sunday.
With the White Sox leading 3-1, Wells leaped up against the left-field wall to make a spectacular catch and rob Johnson of the game-tying homer.
“I didn’t know at first, I was just glad I caught it, you know. And then I saw the replay and I was like, wow that, you know, that was really special. I never did anything like that before. So, like I said I’m just happy I got to help the team out in that situation and the moment that it happened made it that much more special,” said Wells.
Initially, Johnson did not think he hit it well enough to get it out of the park.
“No, I hit it OK. I knew that the ball was traveling pretty good all weekend, so when I hit it I was kind of begging for it to get up. I didn’t crush it, but obviously in that situation they’re probably, I would assume, in the eighth inning he’s playing pretty deep almost in ‘no doubles’ anyway, so that made it a little easier play for him. I hit that ball earlier in the game, it’s probably a homer because he’s probably playing me a lot shallower, you now? So, it was kind of everything,” said Johnson.
Wells catch was several great defensive plays by the White Sox.
Alex Rios added two hits and an RBI for Chicago and Jose Quintana (5-2) scattered nine hits in 5⅔ innings for the win.
White Sox relievers Ramon Troncoso and Donnie Veal each retired the two batters they faced and Nate Jones pitched a scoreless eighth. Closer Addison Reed pitched scoreless ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances.
Braves starter Mike Minor (9-5) pitched his first career complete game in the loss. Minor allowed three runs, two earned on five hits. He struck out eight and walked two.
“That was my first complete game. That was not the way I wanted it to end, but it was a lot better than I thought it was going to end up, because the first inning was I couldn’t really feel anything, I was missing a lot of spots,” said Minor.
The Braves had bases loaded and no outs in the second inning, but failed to score. Dan Uggla struck out and Brian McCann was caught off second base on Reed Johnson’s line out. The Braves loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning and could not score again. Second baseman Jeff Keppinger made a diving stop on Brian McCann’s ball and threw him out at first.
“McCann is a pull hitter. He looks like he’s trying to drive everything to right field so I was more likely to go to my left than I was to my right. If he hits that ball to my right, I probably ain’t getting it. So I was anticipating something to be at me or to my left and I don’t know. I just kind of went after it and it happened to fall in my glove,” said Keppinger.
In the first inning, Adam Dunn beat the defensive shift with a two-out single through the left side of the infield to score Alejandro De Aza.
De Aza led off the third with a double and Rios blooped a single with the infield drawn in to score De Aza.
Trailing 2-0 in the fifth, Evan Gattis lined a single an off third baseman Brent Morel’s glove to score Chris Johnson.
The White Sox added an insurance run in the sixth inning on Dayan Viciedo’s sacrifice fly.
NOTES: LHP Paul Maholm was sent back to Atlanta to have his left wrist checked out by the team’s hand specialist. He left Saturday’s start in the fourth with a sprained left wrist that was initially injured in his last start before the break, against Miami. ... Braves OF Jason Heyward did not start for a fifth straight game after leaving lineup July 11 with right hamstring strain. Manager Fredi Gonzalez plans to start him Monday versus the Mets and play him in CF until B.J. Upton returns from the DL. The Braves want to make sure he’s as close to 100 percent. ... Braves C Gerald Laird left the game with a bruised left hand after getting hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. He is day-to-day. ... Morel was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after the game.