White Sox manager Tony La Russa said that while Max Muncy did break open the game with a three-run homer in the sixth inning after he ordered an intentional walk to Trea Turner with a 1-2 count in Chicago’s 11-9 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, he defended the thinking behind the call.
Down 6-5 after Freddie Freeman hit an RBI single in the sixth off left-hander Bennett Sousa, who then bounced an 0-2 slider for a wild pitch that allowed Freeman to take second, La Russa ordered the intentional walk to the right-handed-hitting Turner, who had singled in a run in the fifth.
“He’s got two strikes, Tony!” a fan yelled.
Muncy, whose two-run double off Dylan Cease put the Dodgers ahead 5-4 in the fifth, worked the count to 2-2 and sliced a slider to the opposite field and into the left-field seats, his fourth home run this season.
La Russa said after the game that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
“I mean is that really a question – because it was 1-2,” La Russa asked a reporter who pressed him on the decision. “Turner with a strike left against left handers is something you can avoid if you can and we had an open base and Muncy happened to be the guy behind him and that’s a better matchup.
“Somebody disagrees, that’s the beauty of this game, they’re welcome to it. But that wasn’t a tough call.”
Chicago closed with two runs against Daniel Hudson, who needed 35 pitches to get though the ninth. With two on and one out, Yasmani Grandal popped out, and pinch-hitter Gavin Sheets followed with a strikeout, but it wasn’t enough for the White Sox to avoid defeat against the Dodgers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.