La Russa defends 2-strike IBB call that backfires

by Daryn Albert - White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he ultimately trusted the process behind his decision to order an intentional walk to Trea Turner with a 1-2 count in Chicago's 11-9 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

La Russa defends 2-strike IBB call that backfires

White Sox manager Tony La Russa said decision to intentionally walk Trea Turner on 1-2 count 'wasn't a tough call' 7:58 PM ET ESPN News Services 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.