Today's White Sox Report: The Good, Bad and the Ugly

Today's White Sox Report: The Good, Bad and the Ugly
Thornton to the rescue.

The Bottom Line: White Sox 5, Twins 3...A.L. Central lead is 1 1/2 games, awaiting result of Tigers-Indians clash in Cleveland.

The Good:

* First and foremost, the victory. With 18 games left every game is a "must win."

* Former Twin Francisco Liriano,  who seemed to be working faster perhaps to avoid thinking too much, flirted with a no-hitter into the seventh and left the game giving up a pair of runs and only one hit--the Trevor Plouffe two-run homer with Justin Morneau aboard via a HBP--while striking out nine.

* Paul Konerko's homer and three RBIs, giving him 23 long balls and 69 RBIs.

* Adam Dunn's triumphant return as he went 2 for 3, including a double, a run scored and a walk--with no K's.

* Alexei Ramirez's hard-hit grounder to short that deflected into left field and scored Orlando Hudson in the ninth to give the Sox, what proved to be, important insurance.

* Jesse Crain's perfect eighth in relief of Liriano with two strikeouts.

* Matt Thornton averted disaster as he came on in relief of closer Addison Reed with the  bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth. He got Morneau to ground into a double play and Plouffe to ground out to second. And give credit to Robin Ventura for making the move for Thornton. This is no time for patience.

The Bad:

* Alejandro De Aza's funk. He was 0 for 5 today with four strikeouts after an 0'fer last night and his batting average is down to .273. We'll need him to snap out of it--and soon.

The Ugly:

* Reed arrives in the ninth looking for his 27th save. Not so fast. He walked Ben Revere to lead off the inning, gave up a single to pinch-hitter Denard Span and walked Josh Willingham. Lucky for the Sox, Thornton saved the day. If Reed continues to struggle look for Ventura to opt for Thornton and Brett Myers to close out certain games.





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