With all the talk about Chicago’s formidable pitching staff, White Sox rookie Tadahito Iguchi has been slipping beneath the radar.
Iguchi hopes to lead the White Sox to their fourth straight win as they continue a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals.
Including a 4-for-4 night in Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Kansas City, the 30-year-old second baseman has gone 13-for-21 (.619) in his last six games, raising his average to .365.
“He understands the game,” White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said of Iguchi. “He’s a smart baseball player, both offensively and defensively and is a guy who makes adjustments on the fly. I think that’s huge for a player coming into the league that hasn’t been in the league to be able to make adjustments.”
Iguchi, who hit 24 homers last season with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks and 149 in eight seasons in Japan, also hit his first big league homer Tuesday.
The win was Chicago’s 11th win in 13 games against the Royals since last season.
“Of course today will be a memorable day for me in regards to my baseball career, but at the same time, I’m glad we got the win,” Iguchi said through a translator. “I’m actually more happy with the fact I got four hits than that one home run.”
Carl Everett hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning, while Mark Buehrle won despite allowing two homers to Mike Sweeney and one to Eli Marrero. Buehrle gave up four runs and eight hits in eight innings. Shingo Takatsu finished for his seventh save.
Chicago, which has an AL-best 19-7 record, has held a lead at some point in 26 consecutive games, a major league record.
It was the third blown save of the season for Andy Sisco, acquired by Kansas City in the winter meeting draft.
“Sisco’s my guy,” Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. “He’s the guy we’re going to use in the eighth inning to pass the ball to (Ambiorix) Burgos.”
The Royals, last in the AL with a 7-19 record, have dropped 10 of 12 games.
Sweeney hit two home runs for the second straight game, raising his season total to six.