It’s official. Chicago loves Kevin Youkilis. For the second time in three games the Sox had all of their offense provided by Mr. Youkilis, again it was 2 runs worth, and again it was enough to secure a win. The key beneficiary of that offense: one Gavin Floyd. Gavin went out and pitched a beauty. “The Good Gavin” went 7.2 innings and allowed just 4 hits and 0 runs.
Blue Jays (42-43): 0
White Sox (47-37): 2
It became apparent early on that my prediction of a high scoring game wouldn’t come to be. I’m gladly wrong on this particular occasion. After allowing the lead-off batter a hit, Floyd cruised through the Blue jay lineup, inducing some weak contact, catching breaks on the hard hit balls, and becoming friendly with the double play ball when necessary. We love Good Gavin. We hate Bad Gavin. If I may pass out a little homework, we need to come up with a quality nickname that captures the duality of Gavin Floyd. Now taking suggestions via Twitter, Facebook or in the comments section.
On the Sox side, Alex Rios got a break in the 1st with runners on first and third on what should have been a strike 3 call but was overturned on some confusion regarding whether or not he foul tipped the ball into the dirt. He could not capitalize, as Yunel Escobar made a nice play to end the inning anyway. It appeared that the lone chance for scoring was squandered, the Sox would only notch 3 more hits on the afternoon. That’s where the Youk comes in. Alexei Ramirez lead off the 5th with a single, two batters later, Kevin Youkilis would knock him in, along with himself on a towering HR to centerfield for the only scores of the game.
A little excitement in the top of the 9th for Matt Thornton, on for the 4 out save. Jose Bautista hit what should have been a routine fly ball into left field that Dayan Viciedo lost in the sun and was unable to put a glove on. As the ball rolled to the wall, Bautista ran the bases, making the turn and heading for third while Viciedo helped to covered up his mistake by getting the ball back in to Alexei Ramirez who relayed to Youkilis for the tag. A Cuban relay to help secure the White Sox victory.
Ricky Romero had his best outing since May 18th, and received the loss.
Plus: Ever since Kevin Youkilis started wearing a White Sox uniform in Chicago he’s been in the middle of everything, passing out game winning hits like they’re candy and making plays he wasn’t supposed to make as a third baseman. He has driven in the winning run in each of the last 4 games. I’ve already marveled at it and I’ll marvel at it again: What a great trade by Kenny Williams.
Minus: Let’s talk about turning a minus into a plus. Dayan Viciedo’s staying on the botched fly-out is a huge play. If he lags, and De Aza has to get that in, Bautista is standing on third and anything can happen. If Carlos Quentin was still out there he would have pounded the ground before bothering to look where the ball ended up.