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Thursday, August 8, 2013
Sox have a good time at Yankees circus

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- All it took for the Chicago White Sox to awaken their senses was the traveling circus known as the New York Yankees.

The White Sox limped home on a 10-game losing streak and were met by Alex Rodriguez’s controversy and the pending retirement of Mariano Rivera, not to mention Derek Jeter’s trip to the disabled list.

The White Sox also were facing, in succession, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia, a trio that in any other year would surely spell doom.

It ended up as a Chicago three-game sweep, with the punctuation mark the fact that the White Sox have now swept the Yankees in consecutive series of at least three games for the first time in 100 years.

“I don’t know exactly how to summarize it ... it’s great,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “For our last probably two weeks we probably had a lot of those games, close ones, and it’s nice to end up on this side of it.

“We’ve had a few that we ended up on the other side. It’s a good team effort. Everybody stayed with it, pitchers out of the bullpen did great and it’s nice.”

It might say plenty about the White Sox this season that the signature moment of the series wasn’t necessarily any moment of victory, but the blown save the White Sox were able to pin on Rivera on Wednesday.

With the White Sox trailing 4-3 in the ninth inning, Rivera got two quick outs before Gordon Beckham doubled and Adam Dunn hit a two-strike, pinch-hit single to the opposite field in left to tie it. It was just the third blown save of the season for Rivera and the 77th of his storied career.

“I’ve had some at-bats against him. I’ve seen his cutter. And I’ve never gotten a hit off him,” Beckham said. “You just kind of throw your hands up in the air and compete the best you can.

“It worked tonight, but that’s the first time it has ever worked out against him.”

The reality is that these aren’t the dominating Yankees of old, while the White Sox aren’t as bad as their recent 10-game losing streak or 13 losses in 14 games might indicate.

Yet even after bottoming out during that 10-game slide, nobody was willing to predict if the White Sox will offer a fair representation of who they really are the rest of the way.

“You know, I mean, the way this season has gone, I don’t think we want to predict anything,” said Paul Konerko, who drove in a run. “I think there was some energy in the building here the last three nights. It was the Yankees, more fans and ... there’s a lot of stuff going on besides the game the last three days and that took our minds off the 10-game losing streak and just the way it has been going.”

Through it all, the White Sox are actually showing some resiliency. There is no hope of reaching the postseason, but pride does remain.

“It’s been tough,” Ventura said. “That’s the honest part of it. But they are grinding it out and the effort is there. That’s something we’re going to have. That’s just part of playing here that you’re going to grind it out.

“Any time you’re playing the Yankees, I think there is a different level, there’s a different feel in the stadium. It’s good to get a win like this.”

After an off day Thursday, the White Sox return to action against the Minnesota Twins. Will their drive continue?

“Somehow we need to re-create that [energy] come Friday, because that stuff probably won’t exist,” Konerko said.

“We have to try to make our own energy. We played the game fun the last three days. It was a good time and guys competed well. We have to make ourselves do that every time we go out there.”