The White Sox’s aggressive approach worked wonders once again as the Sox plated seven runs off Twins’ starter Livan Hernandez, knocking him out of the game after throwing just 60 pitches over four innings of work. The Sox also added more runs in the eighth and finished the game with 16 hits, giving them a combined 32 hits in the first two games of this series.
The scoring started when Paul Konerko—yes, Paul Konerko—tripled to lead off the second inning and Jim Thome brought him home with a sacrifice fly. However, the second inning scoring didn’t stop there, as Jermaine Dye and Nick Swisher both picked up hits before Joe Crede slammed his 13th home run of the year to make it 4-0 White Sox.
In the fourth, the White Sox picked up four crucial runs—all with two out—coming on back-to-back doubles by Alexei Ramirez and Orlando Cabrera, putting their run total at seven and ultimately knocking Livan Hernandez out of the game.
The Sox added four insurance runs in the eighth on a Swisher single and Crede three-run homer.
It looks like a trip back to U.S. Cellular Field—and warm weather—has been the perfect medicine for the White Sox’ offensive ills that seriously crippled this team last weekend against Tampa Bay.
In the last five games, the White Sox run totals have gone as follows: nine, six, six, ten, and 11 for a whopping total of 42 runs so far on the homestand. In every one of those games, the Sox have collected at least ten hits.
Crede and Cabrera have been hitting the ball especially well while Alexei Ramirez has continued to show improvement at the plate, rasing his batting average to .280 with a 3/3 showing today.
Nick Swisher has shown very encouraging signs of coming out of his slump, as it looks like he’s seeing the ball well and is really starting to make good contact, going 3/4 at the plate today. Even Paul Konerko has started to string some hits together, going 2/4 in today’s ballgame.
Jim Thome has yet to really start to break out of his slump, but the way the rest of this lineup has been hitting, they haven’t needed Thome’s bat. If it does come around and the offense continues to have success with their aggressive strategy, this offense could conceivably be one of the more formidable ones in the majors.
But, for now, the Sox will take whatever they get out of the offense right now—and that’s been pretty good lately.
Like last night, I’ve decided to single Crede out for yet another spectacular offensive performance.
For the second consecutive game, Crede ripped two home runs—but this time, both were three-run shots. He now has 14 longballs on the year and 39 RBI and is hitting .291 with his 3/4 performance today.
I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again—Joe Crede deserves serious consideration for the American League squad for this year’s All-Star game. No third baseman in the A.L. is putting up numbers like Crede right now.
It was extremely refreshing to see the old Mark Buehrle return against a team that has had a lot of success against him this year.
Buehrle went eight strong innings, allowing just one earned run on seven hits with one walks and four strikeouts. He even overcame a rain delay that lasted about half an hour that came between the top and bottom of the first inning.
A day after Javier Vazquez failed to get out of the sixth inning, Buehrle’s outing saved the bullpen—something that is incredibly important considering there are still two games left in this series.
Buehrle located his pitches very well today, moving them in and out and up and down in classic Buehrle fashion. He was using his cutter in and his changeup away while keeping the Twins off-balance
Quentin has been struggling a bit lately and went hitless in five at-bats in today’s game, but it hasn’t mattered for this surging offense. If anybody was entitled to a little slump, it’s Quentin, who carried this offense from early April to late May and kept this team afloat in the early months of this season.
I don’t think anybody’s going to be disappointed with this slump Quentin is in. Hopefully, he’ll make an adjustment to seeing more breaking pitches and will come right back and start mashing the ball like he has been this year.
Masset gave up three hits and a run in the top of the ninth, but it didn’t exactly matter as the Sox still won the game by nine runs.
With the victory today, the Sox have now won five in a row and sit 4.5 games ahead of Minnesota atop the American League Central.