ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There was offense for the White Sox on Thursday and a lot of it.
It came in a variety of ways too, which was just what a struggling club needed in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.
There were two bunt singles from Juan Pierre and two RBIs from lineup fill-in Omar Vizquel all in the first three innings. There were doubles from Vizquel, Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin, the latter setting the White Sox record for two-base hits in April with 11.
What there wasn’t on Thursday were home runs. Not that the White Sox wouldn’t mind the long ball, but they have proof that it’s not needed in order to waltz off with a victory.
It isn’t muscle they need but unity. They got a home run in Wednesday’s game and lost. Three singles and a run scored would have been better if only to see that they can put a rally together.
Pierre was asked if he bunted in his first three at-bats Thursday because he was thinking about all those plays the Rays outfield made on him during the series.
“No,” he said. “Well a little bit.”
Pierre set the tone, which is exactly what he is being paid to do.
“I know we had some big boppers but we got guys who can run a little bit too,” he said. “Me personally I know I have to get on base and do those types of things. It seems like the offense runs a little smoother if I’m out there on the bases kind of creating a little havoc. That’s why I take it kind of personally when we don’t score runs because I know my job is to get on base.”
Pierre scored three runs on the night and Vizquel had one as the top of the order flourished. Along with two RBIs from Vizquel, Carlos Quentin, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski also had multi-RBI games. Three players scored at least two runs, including Mark Teahen in the No. 9 hole, who cashed in two walks.
“That’s the way we expect the way to play every day, to be honest with you,” Guillen said. “I don’t want to be cocky or arrogant, but this team is allowed to play this way because of the way we built this club and the talent we have. Every time we take the field we expect to play that way. We take the lead early.”
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd found some trouble early, like a bases-loaded situation and one out in the second inning, but managed to slither out of it on a 1-2-3 double play. There were fist pumps all around as the White Sox looked inspired.
“It’s not fun when you go out there and all of a sudden you’re down by one run and they come back,” Guillen said. “We were desperate for a win, and we all know that. We took it the right way during the losing streak, we think positive. The guys were optimistic and I think that made it easier.”