Homers can't rescue Sox this time vs. Tigers

September, 12, 2012
9/12/12
12:04
AM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The home run came to the Chicago White Sox’s rescue in their series-opening game with the Detroit Tigers, but it wasn’t able to save them in Game 2.

[+] EnlargeJake Peavy
Mike DiNovo/US PresswireJake Peavy allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings but didn't get much help from the Sox bats on Tuesday.
The White Sox’s offense fell short Tuesday after being only able to produce two solo home runs and a single manufactured run in a 5-3 loss to the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.

Lately if the White Sox haven’t scored via the home run, they’ve struggled to score all together. In the past six games, the White Sox have scored 22 of 28 runs off home runs and have gone 10 for 59 with runners in scoring position.

All six of the White Sox’s runs in their 6-1 win over the Tigers on Monday came by the way of a home run. Alex Rios hit a three-run homer, and Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski each hit solo shots. They were 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base in the win.

On Tuesday, they continued to struggle to get runners across the plate. They were for 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left five on base.


Beckham said he wasn’t concerned the White Sox had become too reliant on the homer for their runs.

“I would say no,” said Beckham, who had a solo home run on Tuesday. “If we’re scoring runners, I don’t care if we’re doing it with bunt hits or home runs. … I think some people think of us as a home-run team, and I guess we are, but I don’t think we think of ourselves like that. I think we think of ourselves as hit it on a line and hope it goes out almost. We don’t really ever talk about how we’re going to go hit some home run to score some more runs.

“You get some runners in scoring position. They got some hits that fell in and kept the inning going. We need that happen to happen tomorrow.”

The White Sox’s best scoring opportunity Tuesday came in the eighth inning with the Tigers leading 5-2. Alexei Ramirez, Beckham and Alejandro De Aza began the inning by stringing together three consecutive singles. De Aza’s single scored Ramirez, and the White Sox had runners on first and second with no outs.

Kevin Youkilis came to bat next and unsuccessfully attempted to bunt on the first two pitches. On the third pitch, he struck out.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura explained afterward his decision to have Youkilis bunt.

“We’re trying to tie it up,” Ventura said. “We’re trying to move them into scoring position. It just didn’t happen. We just didn’t execute very well.”

Following Youkilis, Dewayne Wise struck out looking, and Paul Konerko finished off the inning by flying out.

Wise also wasn’t worried about the team’s dependence on home runs, but he believes he and his teammates need to relax more at the plate.

“This is a tough game,” said Wise, who had a solo homer on Tuesday. “You go through stretches like this. It’s all about how you handle it.

“I feel like a lot of people are trying to do too much. Runners in scoring position, the guys are going up there and feel like they have to do something. I feel like we got to relax, have fun and just go out there and play the game.”
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Conor Gillaspie
BA HR RBI R
.305 5 46 46
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 93
RJ. Abreu 67
OPSJ. Abreu .962
WC. Sale 10
ERAC. Sale 2.12
SOC. Sale 158