NEW YORK -- Watching the normally weak-hitting Chicago White Sox lineup pound out six runs and 13 hits Wednesday had outfielder Alex Rios reciting an old baseball adage after Chicago's 6-3 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.
"I believe that sometimes hitting is contagious, and when we started getting like that everybody seems to follow the leader and that's what we got to do," Rios said. "We've been struggling a little bit, but it's just a matter of putting good at-bats together and battle like we've been doing. We're going to get out of this funk sooner than later."
After scoring a combined two runs in their previous two games, the Sox broke out against the Mets by tying their season-high in hits. Chicago had scored two runs in the 21 innings spanning the previous two games, including a 1-0 loss in 10 innings Tuesday, but they broke through against Mets starter Jeremy Hefner.
"Offensively, get a couple of hits, one that falls in with Conor [Gillaspie], but they swung the bats tonight," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's one of those, even after a night like last night, you still have to come out and grind and work at it and get after it."
In the previous two games, Chicago, owners of the lowest team batting average in the American League, had been shut down by Kansas City's James Shields and the Mets' Matt Harvey. Chicago didn't score in 17 innings against the starters and managed to beat Kansas City with a rally against the bullpen.
Wednesday, outfielder Alejandro De Aza galvanized the White Sox by leading the game off with a home run to right field. After two games of offensive misery, the White Sox could finally relax and go the plate with a lead.
"When you start the game with the lead, it boosts everything. It boosts the defense and the offense," Rios said. "Gave the pitcher more room to work with and gave us that confidence we need. We played pretty good today, put a good game together and everything was fine."
In the third, Chicago benefited from a well-placed double to get some breathing room. With the White Sox ahead 2-1 and two men on with one out, Gillaspie blooped a ball to center that dunked in and scored both runners. Ventura pointed to that inning, as Chicago scored three runs, as the one that gave the team confidence moving forward. Chicago added a run in both the seventh and ninth.
The White Sox may not have tattooed most of their balls Wednesday, but after their struggles the previous two games, they didn't care how the hits came.
"A hit is a hit. You take it as is," White Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise said. "There weren't many hard hits tonight, but we got a few balls to fall in and hopefully that's something we can build on, and go home these [next] three games against Anaheim and hopefully we can get some wins."