After the past weekend’s sweep by the Tigers, it looked like the Chicago White Sox were quickly losing their momentum. Going into Monday, they were tied for first place in the AL Central. Thankfully, today’s 6-2 win against the Minnesota Twins gave them a series win and helped maintain their position.
Starter Jake Peavy needed a strong performance in the wake of the 18-run beating the Twins gave the Sox last night. Peavy (10-10) hadn’t won since August 1st mainly due to poor run support, but he came out today and gave another stellar performance. He pitched six innings and only allowed one earned run. Giving up an impressive five hits, he controlled most of the game and only had one sticky situation to pitch out of.
Peavy earned his tenth win for the first time since 2008 and the man that made it happen was Alex Rios. Normally Peavy doesn’t get much run support, but today was an exception. Rios came out strong in the first inning with a grand slam after both Dunn and Youkilis drew walks. He hit another long ball in the sixth after Paul Konerko was walked. These RBIs gave him 82 on the season.
Rios’ performance this season has been amazing and he is always in talks concerning Comeback Player of the Year. His 2011 season was both offensively and financially disappointing since the Sox were paying him to play like the old Alex Rios. Now in 2012, not only is he playing in a manner equivalent to his potential, but he’s primed to eclipse his season best 88 RBIs.
Rios is just one of many players on the White Sox that are crucial to their success. A.J. Pierzynski, Kevin Youkilis, Paul Konerko, and Adam Dunn are all players I would deem irreplaceable to the team as they try to make the postseason. Every player on that list consistently comes through at important times and there has always been someone there to pick up others’ slack.
Their win today maintained their lead and the pressure is now on second place. No matter how the Detroit Tigers fare tonight, the Sox know they will be going into Friday at least one game atop the AL Central.