Chicago extended its season-high winning streak to six games with a 3-2 win in 10 innings over the Royals on Saturday. Aaron Rowand singled in the go-ahead run for the White Sox, who are off to the best 18-game start in their 104-year history.
Chicago also improved to 8-2 on the road, best in the American League, and its best start on the road since the 1973 team went 9-2.
“Anytime you can get off to a start like this, it puts pressure on some other teams,” Rowand said. “They start pressing a little bit, which always helps. You can’t make a big deal out of it. It is what it is. If you think about it, it will come back to bite you.”
Chicago has led in all 18 games, the longest streak in club history to begin a season, and improved to 8-1 in one-run games. They have won the first seven series, also a first for the franchise, and look for their third straight sweep on Sunday.
“This is something we never felt would happen to have a start like this,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “This makes it easier for us for the future if something really weird happens.”
The Cuban right-hander became the first pitcher in nearly 22 years to allow 10 or more hits in six or fewer innings and still not permit a run. Chuck Rainey of the Chicago Cubs last did it on Aug. 3, 1983, at St. Louis.
Hernandez, who leads the team with a 2.50 ERA, allowed at least one hit in every inning, and squirmed out of several jams, including two with the bases loaded and one out.
“I want 20 more games with 10 hits and no runs,” he said. “After my team wins, it’s OK.”
David DeJesus hit his fourth career leadoff homer for the Royals, who lost a season-high fourth straight game.