With a 4-3 win over the Oakland A’s Friday night, the White Sox have suddenly won five of their last six games and the ship appears to be turning around.
Though they’re still seven games under .500, things are looking up for Ozzie Guillen and the boys.
Phil Humber earned his third victory of the year, tossing six strong innings. He had only allowed a pair of hits up until the sixth inning, when four consecutive singles led to three runs, turning a stellar outing into just a very good outing.
Sergio Santos pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his fourth save in as many chances. Santos still hasn’t allowed a run to score this season in 18 innings of work.
The big play of the night came in the eighth inning when Coco Crisp tried to steal home off of Matt Thornton, a southpaw. As fate may have it, the pitch was inside to Conor Jackson, a righty. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski made a perfect play on it, forcing Crisp to slide around the plate and tagging him before he could get in there safely.
“Two weeks ago that’s a game-tying run,” Thornton said after the game.
Superstitious or not, it rings true. Nothing was going the Sox’s way for about three weeks, a stretch that still makes everything taste awfully bitter for Sox fans. It’s entirely believable that something ridiculous would have happened to prevent Thornton and Pierzynski from allowing a game-tying run to score.
Regardless, the past is the past and the Sox are heating up. Adam Dunn was hitless in four at-bats and struck out three times, but he showed a glimmer of hope with four hits Thursday against the Angels. He’s finally above the .200 mark – not exactly a milestone to be proud of, but it’s a start.
Juan Pierre is still swinging a cold bat for the Sox and is causing havoc on the basepaths for the wrong team. If it weren’t for a throwing error by A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy, he would have been picked off again tonight, his only time on base. Pierre really needs to boost up that on-base percentage so the lineup can start firing on all cylinders.
The Sox wrap up the West coast swing with two more games against the A’s, then head home to host the reigning A.L. champs, the Texas Rangers, for a two-game set on Monday and Tuesday.