The White Sox's 2-1 nail-biting victory in Kansas City wasn't easy. Frankly, as the Sox failed to score in the final seven innings after plating their runs in the first two, I was waiting for the proverbial roof to cave in as we've seen many times at Kauffman Stadium.
But "Cy" Sale, despite giving up 10 hits in eight innings of work, allowed just a single run and upped his record to 11-2 while lowering his ERA to 2.11. And as it turned out all he needed was a first-inning Adam Dunn homer (a major league-leading 28th and third of the series) and a run that scored as Alexei Ramirez hit into a double play in the second. Addison Reed recorded his 14th save in 16 chances (he blew his second on Friday night) as he retired former Sox Chris Getz with the tying run in scoring position.
The White Sox now head to Boston where there will certainly be a great deal of attention paid to the return of Kevin Youkilis as appears in Fenway for the first time since the June 24 trade that brought him to Chicago. Bosox manager Bobby Valentine, who helped usher Youk's departure from Beantown by telling a local TV station that Youkilis wasn't physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past, added to the controversy again today. He told reporters, "I think the comment I made early, he (Youkilis) made a big issue out of and I don't think he ever wanted to get over it." Stay tuned.
While that commotion is going on, the Pale Hose hope their revamped rotation rises to the occasion in the four-game series. Dylan Axelrod, who pitched in relief and was the winning pitcher in Friday's 14-inning marathon, will start tomorrow night in place of Gavin Floyd, who is ailing with tendinitis. Phil Humber will go on Tuesday night in his first major league start since coming off of the disabled list. If Floyd recovers in time, he'll start on Wednesday. If not, we could see yet another minor league brought up for the spot start.
Elsewhere in the A.L. Central, as a result of the Tigers' win over the Orioles and the Blue Jays triumph over he Indians, Detroit has passed the Tribe and vaulted into second place, 3 1/2 games behind the Sox. Cleveland drops to third, four games back.