Instant Rationalization - First place, it’s nice to see you again

Instant Rationalization  -  First place, it’s nice to see you again
The White Sox took a huge bite out of the Twinkie's bullpen tonight. (flynnfiles.com)

When the White Sox stranded five runners in the first three innings and were once again giving Jose Quintana very little run support, tonight’s game had the same daunting feeling as last Thursday in Boston.  And when Josh Willingham gave the Twins a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning with his second home run of the game, the daunting feeling felt like a punch in the gut.

But lo and behold, the White Sox were to have none of it tonight, scoring nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings to slaughter their way to an 11-4 Twinkie take-down.  Remarkably, the White Sox are now 3-3 in Quintana’s six quality starts, but 5-0 in his non-quality outings.

The Sox once again mashed three homers (Konerko, Dunn, Ramirez) to give a second-straight sellout crowd lots of fireworks.  The win also brought the Sox back into a tie with Detroit, who lost to Cleveland 3-2.

Key Performers

Paul Konerko – 4-4, 1 R, HR, 1 RBI – The Captain has been officially declared back, looking very much like the offensive freak Sox fans saw during the season’s first couple months.

Adam Dunn – 3-5, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI – Like Konerko, Dunn hit a homer for the second straight day, this one also off a lefty.  Dunn also missed an opposite-field homer by a couple feet, but settled for a double.

Alexei Ramirez – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI – Alexei piled on the homer train, hitting just his third of the year to cap off a five-run eighth inning.

Turning Point

Adam Dunn’s two-run homer in the seventh inning that tied the game at four is the very definition of a turning point.  After his homer, ten of the next twelve Sox hitters reached base, seven of them scoring.

The Twins defense also unraveled, committing errors in both the seventh and eighth innings, helping to hand deliver the game to the Sox.

Things Would Be Different If…

…the White Sox had reverted to the norm when trailing after six innings.  Entering tonight’s game, according to Comcast SportsNet’s Chuck Garfien, the Sox were a paltry 2-34.

Takeaway

It was very nice to see the White Sox battle back in the late innings, especially in front of a big crowd (and against the Twins—the memory of piranhas will never die).  Outside of Josh Willingham, Quintana looked very good, putting the finishing touches on cementing his place as the third starter in the rotation.

After struggling early in the game, the Sox bats came alive late, eating a horrid Twins bullpen alive.  The Sox also drew five bases on balls, which was very nice to see.  While it’s easy to get giddy over the last couple victories over the Twins, it bears repeating that the Twins have the American League’s worst record.

The Sox go for the sweep tomorrow behind Jake Peavy and look to capture first place all for themselves.

Overall Record: 52-45, tied with Detroit for first place

Filed under: Game Wraps

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