The Chicago White Sox’s offense appears to finally be coming around.
Coming off its most productive game at the plate of 2007, the White Sox look to end a successful road trip on a positive note Tuesday when they close out a two-game series against the Kansas City Royals.
Chicago (10-8) pounded out a season-high 12 hits Monday, and matched a season-high for runs with a 7-4 win. Though the White Sox are among the poorest hitting teams with a .230 average, they’re starting to score runs consistently.
The White Sox have scored 36 runs in their last six games, going 5-1. They had scored just 39 times in their first 12 contests.
“I don’t think it’s just the White Sox, but everybody in baseball is swinging the bat better,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen told the team’s official Web site.
The White Sox are 3-1 on a five-game road trip that began by taking two of three in Detroit.
On Monday, Paul Konerko went 3-for-4 with two homers and five RBIs to boost his average to .209. The first baseman was 2-for-22 in his previous five games and had not homered since opening day.
“It feels good to do good,” said Konerko, who needs two extra-base hits to tie Nellie Fox and Minnie Minoso for fourth on the club’s all-time list with 474. “That never concerns me too much when you’re not hitting them because those things come in bunches. They come when you least expect them.”
Chicago’s hitters have done a nice job supporting Javier Vazquez (2-0, 2.50 ERA), who will take the mound Tuesday. The White Sox are 3-0 and have scored 15 runs when Vazquez starts in 2007.
In his most recent outing, the right-hander didn’t earn a decision after allowing three runs and four hits in six innings of a 6-4 win over Texas on Thursday.
Vazquez has pitched well in his career against the Royals, going 4-1 with a 1.88 ERA in six starts.
Catcher John Buck went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer for the Royals (6-13) on Monday. He leads the team with four home runs.
Shortstop David DeJesus also returned to the lineup Monday after missing Sunday’s game with a sore ankle.
“I’m feeling all right,” said DeJesus, who went 0-for-3, but is hitting .333.
Brian Bannister will make his first start for the Royals on Tuesday. The right-hander, who went 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA at Triple-A Omaha, replaces Brandon Duckworth, who will move into a Kansas City bullpen that is 1-6 with a 6.05 ERA and has blown five saves in nine chances this season..
“From all the reports we’ve gotten, Bannister’s been throwing good,” Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. “We’re putting Ducky in the bullpen just to give us a little more experience down there. We’re really young in the bullpen, so it just made sense.”