CHICAGO (AP)—Runs scored so quickly, the top of the second inning seemed like a blur. After an error by the White Sox and a couple of swings by the Pirates, Pittsburgh had a 6-0 lead.
Chicago’s comeback, however, was just as swift.
“Guys are going to give up after being down six?” asked White Sox first baseman Nick Swisher. “We had a big inning just like they did.”
Chicago responded with six runs in the bottom of the second Thursday and rode two homers—one a grand slam—and six RBIs from Jermaine Dye to a 13-8 victory and a three-game sweep of the Pirates.
“Something about being here just wakes our bats up. Hopefully we can carry it over on the road,” Dye said.
“It was probably one of my better days. … This ballpark is a good hitter’s park, even though early and late it gets cold and the ball doesn’t travel—so when it does heat up you have to take advantage of it. The ball has been traveling for us this year.”
Especially in the three games against the Pirates.
Orlando Cabrera also homered and had four RBIs as the White Sox, who collected 19 hits during a 16-5 win in Tuesday’s series opener, got 15 more hits Thursday.
The White Sox scored 37 runs, had 44 hits and hit 10 homers in the three games and now head across town to Wrigley Field for a three-game series with the rival Cubs in a showdown of first-place teams.
Dye is ready for the hectic atmosphere that awaits the White Sox.
“You go to ballparks and you know which ones that everybody is going to heckle you and all that, but hopefully our play on the field will be able to keep those guys quiet a little bit,” Dye said.
The Pirates, who’ve had a tough time against both Chicago teams this season, are glad to get out of town and away from the White Sox and U.S. Cellular Field.
“They’re obviously swinging the bat very well. Hitting home runs, finding holes, bloop hits, line drives,” Pirates manager John Russell said. “They all seem to be clicking together. Not much else you can say. They scored a ton of runs against us. You’re not going to win many games when you give up that many runs.”
After the Pirates scored six unearned runs in the second with Nate McLouth hitting a three-run double and Freddy Sanchez a two-run homer, the White Sox quickly answered with half a dozen in the bottom half—capped by Cabrera’s three-run homer.
Gavin Floyd (8-3) won his fourth straight decision, giving up six hits and seven runs—one earned—in 5 2-3 innings.
“The way we’ve swung the bats the last couple of days I thought we were still in the game,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I talked to Gavin and said, `Just keep us there, we will come back.”’
Dye’s grand slam came off reliever John Grabow and followed a single by A.J. Pierzynski and back-to-back walks. Jim Thome’s RBI single gave the White Sox an 8-7 lead in the fifth and Cabrera added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 9-7.
Dye hit a solo homer to put Chicago ahead 7-6 in the third before Sanchez’s RBI single tied it in the fourth.
Thome opened Chicago’s six-run second with a double, Dye doubled him home and, after a single by Swisher, Alexei Ramirez and Pablo Ozuna delivered RBI singles before Cabrera hit his sixth homer, connecting off Phil Dumatrait.
Dumatrait (3-4), a rookie lefty, worked five-plus inning, yielding 11 hits and nine runs.
A walk and two singles loaded the bases for the Pirates with two outs in the second and Floyd appeared to be out of the inning when Raul Chavez hit an easy bouncer to third baseman Ozuna. But Ozuna pulled second baseman Ramirez off the bag with a high throw for an error as the first run scored.
McLouth followed with a three-run double into the right-field corner and Sanchez gave the Pirates a 6-0 cushion with his fourth homer.
“All six of our runs were unearned. We took advantage of an error there. But for them to come back and drop six on us was tough because we had a ton of momentum after the top half of that inning,” McLouth said.
Dye has seven career grand slams. His six RBIs tied a career high. … The Pirates have homered in nine straight games. … Pittsburgh is 1-8 this season in Chicago. The Bucs are also 1-5 against the Cubs at Wrigley. The Pirates are 3-9 overall against the Cubs. … Pierzynski has a 13-game hitting streak. … Pirates 1B Doug Mientkiewicz made a nice catch of Brian Anderson’s foul pop to end the seventh, reaching over a railing and then falling over it but holding onto the ball. … Swisher will play at Wrigley Field for the first time and he’s bringing his dad, former Cubs catcher Steve Swisher, to Friday’s opener.