You don’t always have to hit it far to hit it effectively in baseball.
But you do always have to keep your head in the game.
An eight-run eighth inning by the White Sox Sunday proved that, with the biggest “hit” in the 9-3 victory over San Diego arguably a pop-up out to first that scored Todd Frazier from third.
The reason Frazier scored? Padres first baseman Will Myers turned his back on Frazier.
‘‘It was just one of those things,’’ said Frazier, who had reached with a walk with the bases loaded, driving in the first run of the frame. ‘‘You read what’s going on and take a chance.
‘‘I was just thinking his back was turned, and he threw the ball [home] high enough. It worked out perfectly.’’
And it led to a perfect ending for the Sox, who came back from a 3-1 deficit to take the interleague series — their first series win since April 28-30 against Detroit.
‘‘We’ll take a win any way we can,’’ Frazier said of the second consecutive comeback.
A night earlier, the winning run came after a walk, sacrifice bunt and RBI single.
This time, the big inning featured four walks, a booted ground ball by shortstop Luis Sardinas and Frazier’s heads-up base running.
‘‘I think the guys showed a lot of patience controlling the [strike] zone,’’ manager Rick Renteria said of the inning that saw 14 Sox bat. ‘‘You always want to keep your head up until the play is completely done,’’ he added of Frazier’s tally. ‘‘You always want to be ready for the next play.’’
The inning came too late to give starter Jose Quintana a victory, that going instead to Michael Ynoa (1-0).
But it kept Quintana from a potential hard-luck loss after he made one mistake pitch to Hunter Renfroe in the seventh.
Renfroe’s three-run homer gave the Padres the lead, Quintana having allowed only four other singles.
‘‘We took the series and I think that’s the most important thing,’’ said Quintana, who went seven innings. ‘‘Take the series and we have a good flight [to the West Coast] for the road trip. The most important thing here is the team won.’’
Quintana’s 60th career no-decision – the most in the majors since 2012 – is a frustration his teammates share for him.
‘‘Man!’’ Frazier said, comparing Quintana to past teammate Bronson Arroyo. ‘‘But those guys pitch for a long time.’’
What will matter more for the Sox is for Quintana to continue what has been an improving arc in his last four starts.
He is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA (8 ER/26 innings) in that span compared to 0-4 mark and 6.17 ERA in his first four starts.
‘‘I know I started slow but now I feel better,’’ he said. ‘‘I have confidence every time [out]. Sometimes you don’t get the results you want, but the best results is the team winning,’’ he said. “I can go to bed feeling good.’’
Renteria is just as confident in his left-hander.
‘‘He doesn’t let anything that happens in the past and let it affect him in terms of results,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘I think his idea, his preparation and his feel for wanting to get after the hitters in terms of his plan, his mindset, is very even keel.
‘‘I think you see the same guy every single day. When he goes out there, even if the results aren’t what you expect, he still goes out there and commands a presence on the mound.’’