Windy City Repeat: White Sox Take Two out of Three in Weekend Series
After coming home from a four and two road trip, the Chicago White Sox split a two game series with Minnesota and took two out of three against Detroit.
With a sweep of the Tigers in Detroit still very apparent in the rear view mirror, the South Siders welcomed the Tigers to "the Cell."
Despite dropping the first game two to five behind struggling starter Jose Contreras, the Sox bounced back with a vengance.
The Sox scored 18 runs in the final two games alone winning Saturday and Sunday's games seven to nothing and eleven to nothing, respectively.
The South Siders could no do anything wrong over the weekend. Timely hitting, exceptional pitching, and good defense made the '08 Sox look like the team that won the World Series less than three years ago more than the team that lost 90 games last season.
Saturday, behind an offense led by catcher A.J. Pierzynski (2 for 4, 1 run scored, 2 RBIs) that ended up scoring seven runs, starter Gavin Floyd pitched unlike he had since double-A ball. Floyd went seven innings strong with a no-hitter intact.
Gavin "Pretty-Boy" Floyd, as teammate and center fielder Nick Swisher has dubbed him, pitched seven and one third innings giving up just one hit, four walks and striking out four.
The bullpen behind Floyd was just as strong. Setup man Scott Linebrink pitched a perfect two thirds of an inning, earning his fourth hold of the young season. Closer Bobby Jenks came to get some work in for the ninth inning. "Bad" Bobby gave up only one hit in his inning work.
Sunday afternoon was Javier Vazquez's time to shine. How do you follow up an exceptional pitching performance? Javy repeated the performance.
With the offense thriving behind Grand Slams from 2005 ALCS MVP, Paul Konerko and World Series Hero, Joe Crede, the Sox scored eleven runs.
Crede, now tied for first in baseball with 15 RBIs, cleared the bases for his second Grand Slam of the young season in the fifth inning off Detroit's Zach Miner.
Javy pitched seven innings strong giving up a mere five hits, no walks, and struck out nine in his attempt to duplicate Gavin Floyd's performance on Saturday afternoon.
The bullpen came in once again with the huge lead and shut down the struggling, but dangerous Tiger lineup. Matt Thornton pitched a perfect eighth inning, notching one strike out. Mike MacDougal came in and pitched the ninth. MacDougal gave up one hit and one walk. He struck out two.
What comes next for the red hot White Sox and the struggling Tigers?
The White Sox center fielder and current lead off hitter, Nick Swisher, welcomes in the team he was traded from less than 4 months ago for a short series.
The Oakland A's come into Chicago on a one game losing streak, but a eight and five record.
Young lefty, Greg Smith, the corner stone of the deal that sent Danny Haren to the Arizona Diamondbacks, will be on the hill searching for his first win of his Major League career.
Pitching against the 24-year old Smith will be White Sox starter and tenured ace, Mark Buehrle.
After a terrible opening day appearance, Buehrle bounced back giving up only two runs over seven innings against the struggling Tigers.
The Tigers are heading back home to face the .500 Minnesota Twins.
The two and ten Tigers are still looking to break out into the team that experts predicted to be in the World Series.
Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman takes the mound against Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn.
For Detroit, Bonderman has the only victory by a starter. The other win was credited to reliever Aquilino Lopez, who came in to pitch for the injured Dontrelle Willis Friday night.
Detroit's line up, once deemed the best in the American League, if not baseball, is hitting a collective .235 and dead last in runs scored with 33.
For the White Sox, they are looking to continue their winning ways. They are sitting on top of the AL Central at seven and four.
Detroit is still looking to start their winning ways. Maybe heading home to Comerica to face the young, inexperienced Twins would be good for the aging Tigers.
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