The White Sox clubbed four home runs, overshadowing three defensive gaffes, in a 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals. The game marked the earliest point during a season in franchise history that the Sox have hit four home runs in a game. In fact, for the second straight game, the Sox scored all of their runs via the long ball, which can be taken as a positive or a negative.
The Cuban duo of Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez had Jekyll and Hyde-type games, with each hitting a home run and making an error. Adam Dunn and Tyler Flowers, who is on pace to hit 162 homers this season (AJ who? I kid, I kid.), also added solo shots of their own.
Jake Peavy bulldogged his way through six effective innings, overcoming two errors behind him to only give up one earned run on four hits, walking none and recording six strikeouts. The “Hold Fairy” was generous today, as Jesse Crain, Donnie Veal, Matt Lindstrom and Matt Thornton all recorded a hold. Veal and Lindstrom helped the White Sox escape a bases loaded, one-out jam in the eighth inning unscathed. Addison Reed became the first White Sox player since Bobby Thigpen in 1990 with a save in each of the first two games to start a season by pitching a much-welcomed, drama-less 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The biggest point of debate thus far on the young season has been the Sox’s complete reliance on scoring via the long ball. The optimists say that it’s great that the Sox are showing so much power with the frigid temperatures and that the Sox are fully capable of manufacturing runs via other means. The pessimists say that the Sox have transferred their lack of clutch hitting with runners in scoring position to this year, a trait that killed them down the stretch last season. First of all, it’s important to remember that our sample size is just two games so far. Furthermore, the Sox have had a clutch hit (Viciedo’s two-run, two-out homer) this season. Nevertheless, this is definitely a situation to monitor.
While today might have exposed a little bit of the Sox’s offensive makeup of home run or bust, and also exploited Viciedo’s sub-par range and defense, it also showed that the Sox know how to overcome mistakes on the way to victory. More specifically, Peavy showed the ability to pitch around errors and escape jams, a quality lacking a little bit last season.
The Sox go for the sweep over Kansas City tomorrow afternoon behind Gavin Floyd, who opposes Jeremy Guthrie, a noted Sox villain.
Manager Robin Ventura used five pitchers after using four in the first game
While Alexei Ramirez was credited with an error on a pop-up that fell in between he and Viciedo, the ball hit Viciedo’s glove
DeWayne Wise was brought in the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement and promptly dropped a fly ball
Ramirez and Flowers lead the team with .500 averages (I know it’s early, but when can we ever say this again?)