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Diamondbacks delay clinching playoff berth as Vaughn, Moncada homer for White Sox in 3-1 win

Chicago White Sox catcher Korey Lee and relief pitcher Bryan Shaw celebrate the team's 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago White Sox catcher Korey Lee and relief pitcher Bryan Shaw celebrate the team’s 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbog

BY JAMES KAY contributing

CHICAGO (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks delayed clinching an NL wild card berth, losing to the White Sox 3-1 on Thursday as Andrew Vaughn and Yoán Moncada homered for Chicago.

Arizona (84-75) is in position for the second NL wild card and its first postseason appearance since 2017. The Diamondbacks entered two games ahead of the Chicago Cubs and Miami, who were tied for the third and final spot. Arizona would have clinched Thursday with both a win and a Cubs loss at Atlanta.

“Like I’ve been saying, we have to win every baseball game that we play in and we didn’t do that today, so there’s some frustration,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We have to be better. We have to be better in all areas. We had some opportunities early and I felt like if we had scored some early runs it might have been a different story.”

Each team had three hits, and Arizona went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.

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Tanner Banks (1-4), the second of five Chicago pitchers, threw a scoreless fifth. Bryan Shaw got three straight outs for his fourth save in five chances.

“When you pitch and play defense, you’ve got to find a way to win,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “We only had three hits. Two of them were homers and that was just enough. Pitching and defense is the name of the game and you can find a guy or two to get on and do that, you’re going to win a lot of baseball games.”

Chicago (61-98) is trying to avoid its first 100-loss season since 2018.

Vaughn hit a two-run homer in the second off Bryce Jarvis (2-1). Ketel Marte had a sacrifice fly in the third and Moncada homered in the fourth.

Grifol raved about Moncada’s recent surge — he has seven homers in his last 40 games.

“There’s no reason why he can’t carry that throughout the year,” Grifol said. “He’s got the ability to do that and we’re counting on him. I think he’s going to put up a big year next year. He’s motivated. I’ve spoken to him multiple times about it.”

Rookie Corbin Carroll had two of Arizona’s hits. The Diamondbacks have lost seven of their last 11 road games and head home for three games against Houston.

“I think we are coming out of ourselves a little bit — or at least I am — and not staying through the ball.” Alek Thomas said. “Once we go home, I think it’ll change. It’ll definitely be good to get out of here, go home and sleep in our own bed.”

PLAYOFF PUSH

Lovullo said the team will make rotation adjustments if it is able to secure a wild card spot but is only focused on clinching playoff berth until that happens.

“I don’t care where we land, where we go or who we wind up playing against,” Lovullo said. “Getting to the big dance is the most important thing and then we just play our game. We have very talented players and I think we match up with anybody.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: A day after he was scratched because of right shoulder discomfort, OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 1 for 4.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Zac Gallen (17-8, 3.49 ERA) is scheduled Friday’s series opener against Astros RHP J.P. France (11-6, 3.83).

White Sox: RHP Dylan Cease (7-8, 4.66) is slated to oppose San Diego RHP Nick Martinez (5-4, 3.59) on Friday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

  

by Taboola