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CHICAGO (AP)—Ten games into the season, Vernon Wells is on a tear. What’s most comforting to him is that he has some company.
Coming off back-to-back wins at Fenway Park to take a series against the Red Sox, they jumped on the White Sox for 18 hits, including four homers, one by Wells to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. His long two-run shot in the seventh off Cliff Politte marked his third straight game with a homer.
“I think it shows they made great decisions in the offseason bringing in guys who have proven themselves in the past and want to prove themselves now,” Wells said, referring to offseason acquisitions Glaus and Overbay.
“In the last few games we’ve been putting runs on the board like it’s nobody’s business.”
Meanwhile, the White Sox have given up 39 hits in their last two games, and there was some booing Friday night for the World Champions in their home park. The last time a Chicago staff gave up that many hits in back-to-back games was 1974.
“I don’t blame them for booing us today,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
“I know with the staff we have that we will pitch better.”
Chicago took a 5-2 lead into the fifth, but Vazquez (0-1) couldn’t hold it.
“Going into the offseason we thought if we were going to be legit, we needed to score more runs,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “We’ve got such good balance top-to-bottom that you don’t have to sit there and rely on one or two guys.”
Aaron Hill followed with an RBI grounder and Russ Adams delivered a run-scoring single. After Frank Catalanotto singled, Wells popped out for the second out before Glaus doubled to right for a 6-5 lead. He moved up on Tadahito Iguchi’s throwing error on the relay and scored on Overbay’s single.
The inning ended when Overbay was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Hillenbrand’s double.
Hillenbrand, who’d been struggling with the DH role and entered the game 6-for-31, hit his first homer of the season, a two-run shot in the second for a 2-0 lead.
Chicago then loaded the bases with one out on a double by Joe Crede, an infield single from Alex Cintron and a walk to Chris Widger. Pablo Ozuna reached out and poked a double past the first-base bag to give the White Sox a 3-2 lead.
When Downs walked the first three batters to start the third, he was replaced by Pete Walker (1-1), who gave up an RBI single to Crede and a run-scoring fielder’s choice to Cintron that made it 5-2.
Downs, whose other spot start this season was in place of injured A.J. Burnett, threw two-plus innings, giving up four hits, five runs and four walks. Walker allowed four hits and was not charged with a run in three innings.
Vazquez gave up nine hits and seven runs in six innings. It was the fourth shaky outing for a Chicago starter in 10 games this season.
Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Chicago.
Burnett will make his Blue Jays debut on Saturday. Reliever Brian Tallet, who gave up Dye’s homer, was sent down after the game. … White Sox DH Jim Thome attributes his quick start to good health, long hours of rehab and the time he spent grooving his swing during some minor league games in spring training. Thome went 0-for-3 with two walks Friday night but has six homers in the first 10 games. He’s made a strong return to the AL after three seasons with the Phillies, including an injured-filled final year in 2005. “I’m a lot more healthy than I was a year ago,” said Thome, slowed by back and elbow injuries. … Politte has already given up three homers in four appearances this season. Last year he yielded seven in 68 games. … Crede went 4-for-4.