CHICAGO — White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera implied that Houston may have been stealing signs in Games 1 and 2 of their AL Division Series after Chicago won the third game Sunday night.
Houston was going for a sweep after it rolled to a pair of impressive victories at home.
But Houston batters struck out 16 times in a 12-6 loss at Chicago Sunday after the team struck out a total of 16 times in the first two games.
“It's a different game here at our field,” Tepera, a Houston native, said. “You know you play at Minute Maid and they're doing something over there that's a little bit different. It shows you how many swings and misses they had tonight compared to Minute Maid.”
The AL West champions went down in order in each of the last five innings.
“They struck out 16 times in the previous two games but then 16 times tonight,” Tepera said “They've obviously had a reputation of doing some sketchy stuff over there.”
Tepera, who worked two perfect innings, noted the difference between the Astros at home and on the road.
When pressed, Tepera didn't have any evidence to back up his claims.
“We're gonna compete, we're not going to worry about what they're going to do,” Tepera said. “All we have to do is execute pitches and they can't hit 'em anyways.”
White Sox Manager Tony LaRussa says he “won’t get into” last night's comments by Tepera.
LaRussa did say his solution to stop sign stealing is to make the runner at second base turn around while the catcher gives his signs. He added that he has suggested it to MLB but he says his suggestion has been ignored.
The Astros will look to bounce back on the road Tuesday after Game 4, which was scheduled for Monday, was postponed.