The revitalized Thomas looks to continue his offensive surge as he meets Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants for the first time in his career when the teams open a three-game interleague series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Thomas capped a five-run fifth inning with a two-run homer in Chicago’s 10-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, lifting the White Sox to their third win in four games.
“We’ve got a very talented hitting team, but we just haven’t busted out like we should,” Thomas said after the White Sox finished a road trip 5-8. “We’ve had our moments, but we’re very capable of driving in a lot of runs.”
Thomas was 6-for-9 with a pair of home runs in his first series at Dodger Stadium, continuing a resurgence that started when he began playing field again.
He is batting .472 (17-for-36) since Manuel took him out of the DH role and put him at first base 11 games ago. Thomas has a .283 career average as a DH— 55 points lower than his average at a first baseman.
The NL West-leading Giants wrapped up their season-long 12-game homestand with a 9-3 record, including Sunday’s 7-6 win over Detroit.
The Giants played without two of their top hitters—Barry Bonds and Ray Durham, who both got the day off.
“Roberto Clemente used to tell the manager to give him a day off or he’d go 0-for-5,” Giants manager Felipe Alou. “He knew when he needed a rest.”
Durham, the longtime White Sox second baseman who was traded to Oakland last season before signing with San Francisco as a free agent, makes another return to Chicago.
“My days there are over,” Durham said. “My new home is (San Francisco).”
STANDINGS: Giants - 1st place, NL West. White Sox - 3rd place, 7 1/2 GB, AL Central.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Jerome Williams (0-1, 6.75 ERA). Williams was recalled from Triple-A Fresno last Tuesday to start in place of Kurt Ainsworth, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained shoulder. In just his second major league start, the 21-year-old right-hander allowed three runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings, striking out six and walking three, but didn’t figure into the decision of San Francisco’s 4-3 win over Minnesota. Williams’ only other start was April 26, when he pitched three scoreless innings at Philadelphia before giving up five runs in the fourth of a 10-2 loss.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Garland (3-5, 5.61 ERA). Garland is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA over his last three starts and is coming off is worst outing of the season. The 24-year-old right-hander surrendered seven runs and 10 hits over four innings of Wednesday’s 8-6 loss to Arizona. He makes his first career start against the Giants.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Giants - Marquis Grissom, .317 avg. and 6 SBs; Bonds, 15 HRs and 40 runs; Benito Santiago, 36 RBIs. White Sox - D’Angelo Jimenez, .284 avg.; Thomas, 13 HRs; Magglio Ordonez, 37 RBIs; Jimenez and Carlos Lee, 29 runs; Lee, 6 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Giants - 4-2; White Sox - 3-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Giants - OF Grissom extended his hitting streak to 12 games Sunday, batting .333 during the run. He is hitting .400 since moving to the leadoff spot in the lineup. … OF Bonds hit .361 with three homers and nine RBIs in 11 games during the Giants’ homestand. … With their sweep of the Tigers, the Giants have completed six sweeps this season. White Sox - Manuel faces his mentor in Alou for the first time in his career. Manual was Alou’s third base coach in Montreal. … LHP Damaso Marte had made his 17th straight scoreless appearances, covering 18 innings. … OF Lee’s homer Sunday was the 100th of his career.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Giants - 18-10 on the road; White Sox - 16-12 at home.