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Sunday, August 17, 2014
Rapid Reaction: White Sox 7, Blue Jays 5

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 on Sunday to win their first series since the start of August.

How it happened: The White Sox opened with a six-run first inning and then held on for the victory. Conor Gillaspie hit a grand slam to get the White Sox on the board and Jordan Danks followed with a two-run home run. Scott Carroll worked in and out of trouble to earn the victory, giving up five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. Four White Sox relievers combined to take it the rest of the way, with Jake Petricka pitching the ninth inning to earn his ninth save.

What it means: Things haven’t gone so well of late, but the White Sox managed to make a positive out of the weekend. Not only did they win the series against the Blue Jays by taking two out of three games, the offense resurfaced in victories Friday and Sunday. And even in the game they did lose Saturday, Avisail Garcia returned to the lineup, and Mark Buehrle was celebrated in his first start as an opponent at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the White Sox's first series victory this month.

Outside the box: Showing he’s not just a batter who hits for average, Gillaspie tapped into his power side with his grand slam. It was just the fifth home run of the season for the third baseman, who hit 13 for the White Sox in 134 games last year. At the start of the day, Gillaspie’s .311 batting average was seventh best in the American League. Jose Abreu's .306 average was 10th best and Adam Eaton’s .304 mark was 11th.

Off beat: This time, manager Robin Ventura avoided an ejection when a call at home plate didn’t go his team’s way. The White Sox appeared to get Jose Reyes at the plate in the first inning when he stepped on catcher Adrian Nieto's leg and was tagged out. After a replay review, though, it was determined that Nieto blocked the plate and the run was allowed to score. On Wednesday at San Francisco, Ventura was ejected and subsequently fined when an apparent out at home was reviewed and the run was allowed to score.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale (10-2, 2.01 ERA) to the mound Monday against Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series. The Orioles will counter with right-hander Bud Norris (10-7, 3.75) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.