It seems like everyday there is a different member of the Chicago White Sox that is responsible for the win. In the past few days, it has been A.J. Pierzynski with his five straight home runs, but tonight the hero was Gordon Beckham.
With his first home run since June 20th, Beckham put the Sox up 3-2 over the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the eighth. He has been experiencing some woes at the plate recently. In fact, it seems like Beckham is the only White Sox player that hasn’t had a notable day in the past few weeks and hopefully this clutch swing gives him the confidence to turn it around.
Bringing home the win was Chris Sale (13-3). Sale went to the mound after having nine days rest. Apparently those extra days did him well since his velocity and control were top-notch all game. Although he usually has diminishing speed the longer he pitches, Sale’s fastball was in the mid-nineties until he left the game after eight innings. He gave up two earned runs over that time span.
A.J. Pierzynski, although not extending his home run streak, continued to swing the bat well. He had two hits with one RBI, bringing his total on the season to 62. It was also refreshing to see a Paul Konerko home run swing. The captain’s 18th home run was not his traditional high and deep shot into the left field seats. Instead, Konerko drove a pitch to the bullpen that left the park in a flash and barely made it over the wall. Even though his average remains very strong, Konerko’s run production has dropped a bit so this was a sight for sore eyes.
This year has been the season of the comeback with Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, and Adam Dunn all turning it around after lackluster 2011 efforts. Peavy looks to be back in his old form and Rios is poised to eclipse his regular season records in pretty much all major offensive categories. The Sox will most likely need that to happen since the Detroit Tigers don’t seem to want to slow down either. With their win tonight as well, the Sox remain only 1 1/2 games on top of the AL Central. This is despite the fact that they are 60-48, twelve games over .500 for the first time all season.
The team will try to clinch their series against the struggling division opponents tomorrow evening.