White Sox 11, Orioles 6
CHICAGO (AP)—Teammates were hoping Tadahito Iguchi would swing at anything, and the manager told him to miss a base.
All they wanted was a single to complete the cycle when he stepped to the plate in the eighth, but they got a walk, instead.
It was one of the few times Iguchi did not deliver.
“It’s kind of unfortunate, I didn’t get a single in the last at-bat, but I’m just glad with the way I swung the bat,” Iguchi said through an interpreter.
It was the only downer for the White Sox on a night when they set a season high for runs and won for the eighth time in 11 games. They began the day 36-45, 13 1/2 games behind in the AL Central and, it seemed, light years removed from their championship run in 2005.
Thursday’s outburst was a small step—albeit one that included several big rips.
Dye’s shot in the first inning capped a five-run outburst, and Iguchi’s two-run drive with one out in the second made it 7-0 and knocked out Brian Burres (4-3). Iguchi also doubled in the first and tripled in the sixth, so his teammates and fans were cheering loudly as he stepped to the plate in the eighth.
“Everybody was rooting for me in the dugout,” said Iguchi, who was 3-for-4, scored three runs and drove in three. “I was kind of surprised that all the fans in the stands realized I needed a single.”
The White Sox cringed—sort of—when the count reached 3-1. Iguchi then fouled off four pitches, sending one into the left-field seats. At that point, manager Ozzie Guillen had some suggestions.
“I said, ‘You stay at first base. Trip at second base,”’ Guillen said. “I said, if you hit a triple, just touch first base and miss second base.”
Instead, he took ball four.
“We were like, ‘I hope he swings at the pitch no matter where it is,”’ Dye said. “Nobody wants to walk in that situation.”
But the temptation never crossed his mind, even though he has never hit for the cycle—in the majors or in Japan.
“I just thought about going up there and getting a good at-bat,” said Iguchi, who’s batting .253.
Juan Uribe added a two-run homer in the sixth, and the White Sox banged out 13 hits—one shy of their season high.
Six of them came against Burres, whose ERA climbed from 3.38 to 4.27. He struck out two and walked one in 1 1-3 innings—the shortest start of his career.
“It was one of those games you never want to have,” he said. “Everything I threw, it was just hit. I didn’t miss too many barrels of theirs.”
Chicago’s John Danks (5-6) got the win, although he didn’t exactly dominate. He lasted 6 1-3 innings, allowing five runs and seven hits while striking out three and walking one. He left after Corey Patterson hit a two-run homer.
Poor hitting, bullpen meltdowns and trade rumors—many centered on ace Mark Buehrle—have engulfed the White Sox. And although Guillen insisted, “There’s nothing there,” no one would be shocked if the White Sox made a major move.
Burres immediately got into trouble, throwing a pitchout to the screen after Andy Gonzalez led off the first with a single. Iguchi then doubled, making it 1-0, and came around on Jim Thome’s single. Cleanup hitter Paul Konerko followed with another single, and with one out, Dye drove a 2-1 pitch to the third row in left-center.
It was the third time this season the White Sox scored five or more in an inning. And it was their biggest outburst in the first since they scored five against Kansas City on April 17, 2006.
“Give them credit,” Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley said. “They came out swinging it. They whacked it. They got him in counts that were favorable for them.”
The White Sox had scored 10 runs three times this season. … The White Sox recalled right-hander Gavin Floyd from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday and said he’ll start the second game of Friday’s day-night doubleheader against Minnesota. Guillen had been leaning toward Nick Masset but decided to keep him in the bullpen. … Orioles 3B Melvin Mora was scratched from the lineup for the fourth straight game after asking Trembley for one more day to rest his bruised left foot. He was available to hit.