The Chicago White Sox appear to have wasted little time responding to manager Ozzie Guillen’s latest criticism of the team’s recent struggles at the plate.
After breaking out in the series opener, the White Sox look for another big offensive performance when they continue their three-game set with the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Two days after Guillen went on a tirade after Chicago (31-26) scored four runs in losing the final three contests of a four-game set at AL East-leading Tampa Bay, the White Sox won 9-5 over Kansas City on Monday to open a seven-game homestand.
“We’re not going to play like that every day but that’s the expectation, the most we can,” said Guillen, whose team is near the bottom of the majors hitting .249 while scoring 253 runs. “We got good talent. It’s a matter of putting it together. You look at the lineup and our lineup is strong. That’s why it surprises me we don’t do more damage.”
During the rant, Guillen called out general manager Kenny Williams to make some immediate changes or he would do so to the lineup. After the former teammates cleared the air, Guillen did little tinkering to his lineup Monday night.
A.J. Pierzynski went 3-for-4 and hit one of four homers for the White Sox, who hold a 1 1/2-game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central. Carlos Quentin homered and drove in two runs for Chicago, which matched its scoring output from the previous four games.
While the team has struggled at times offensively, Quentin has remained consistent, hitting .295 while leading the club with 15 homers and 50 RBIs in his first season with the White Sox.
“We know we have guys who can hit and we believe we are going to hit until the end of the year,” said Pierzynski, who is 6-for-9 in his last two games.
Even if the Chicago bats aren’t as active as they were Monday, the club could be in good hands with John Danks (4-4, 2.86 ERA) on the mound. He allowed a run and six hits while striking out eight in six innings of a 5-1 victory at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
“He keeps getting better and better,” said shortstop Orlando Cabrera of Danks.
The left-hander pitched well in his only career appearance against the Royals, allowing one run in eight innings of Chicago’s 3-1, 10-inning win at Kansas City on June 30.
Mark Teahen hit a two-run homer and David DeJesus went 3-for-4 with an RBI for Kansas City, which had won two straight after losing 12 in a row. DeJesus is batting .433 (13-for-30) with a homer and five RBIs in his last five contests.
Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar (3-5, 4.98) hopes to snap a three-game losing streak when he takes the mound Wednesday. He allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss to Minnesota on Thursday.
The right-hander, who has given up 13 earned runs in his last 17 1-3 innings, will make his first career start versus Chicago. He didn’t allow a run in 3 1-3 innings of relief during an 11-3 loss to the White Sox on Sept. 17.