“Enjoy this unbelievable White Sox baseball while it lasts.” Pundits, jealous fans of other teams and “realists” have said this to Sox fans day after day of late. And yet, the streak never seems to end.
Tonight, the White Sox’s seventh straight victory and 11th in their last 12 games behind the pitching of Philip Humber, catapulted the South Siders into first place in the AL Central. The Sox are six over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2010 season.
Tonight it was Philip Humber who battled in the early innings and eventually settled down to throw seven innings or two-run baseball, giving Humber his first win since the perfect game. Dayan Viciedo continued his absolute tear with another three hits, including a homer. The only negative was that Paul Konerko’s hitting streak ended at 14 games, as the Captain went 0-4. Might as well trade him now.
Dayan Viciedo – 3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI – The Tank continues to blow up opposing pitching and now has 8 homers and 22 RBI in his last 15 games. Also just as impressive, he has only struck out four times during that same stretch.
Alexei Ramirez – 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI – The other half of the White Sox Cuban duo has nine hits in his last six games, raising his average from .200 to .222.
Philip Humber – 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K – Humber won his first game since his perfecto by battling through early trouble and really settling in to a nice groove
The top of the sixth inning might have seemed a bit monotonous with the Sox hitting station to station, but it worked and put the game out of reach for the Rays. The White Sox scored five runs on five hits in the sixth, ending the night for Tampa Bay starter James Shields.
Alexei Ramirez came through with an RBI hit with runners in scoring position for the second straight inning and A.J. Pierzynski, Viciedo, Orlando Hudson and Alejandro De Aza contributed RBIs. Humber retired six of the next seven Rays he faced before he was pulled after the seventh inning.
Things Would Be Different If…
…Rays starting pitcher James Shields continued his mastery that he had going over the first four innings. His patented change-up had White Sox hitters off balance, including three strikeouts of Paul Konerko. But the third time through the lineup was the charm for the White Sox, as they hit a parade of singles to score the five runs in the sixth inning.
If it’s possible to narrow down every positive thing that has been happening with the White Sox of late, it’s this: this team is sure fun to watch. The White Sox hustle a whole lot more than years past, as just tonight, De Aza beat out a potential double play that scored the Sox’s fifth run in the sixth.
Every single White Sox hitter has the ability to do damage, with Dunn, Konerko, Rios and Viceido providing the power as of late, and De Aza, Ramirez and Hudson all hitting for a high average and providing speed on the base paths.
The White Sox have been winning in many different ways, whether it’s been slugfests, blowouts or tight, low-scoring games. That’s the sign of a first place team, where Sox fans can find the team in tomorrow’s paper.
Overall record: 28-22, .5 games ahead of Cleveland
Filed under: Game Wraps