CHICAGO – Dayan Viciedo was looking for some good pitches to hit.
The White Sox were looking for a bounce-back victory.
Both parties received exactly what they wanted in an 8-6 win against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field. Viciedo clubbed a home run and drove in four as part of a hitter-happy game in which both teams combined for 14 runs, 25 hits and 10 pitchers.
The Sox (37-34) climbed within a half-game of the Cleveland Indians and improved to 8-9 in interleague play heading into today’s series finale. They earned their 13th comeback win by virtue of two runs in the sixth, one in the seventh and one in the eighth in front of 30,337 fans.
“That’s a confidence booster for the offense,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “These guys got it done. That’s a good feeling after the week of close ones that we didn’t get.”
Jesse Crain (2-1) earned the win out of the bullpen, while Addison Reed recorded the final four outs to pick up his ninth save. Brewers reliever Jose Veras (3-3) was tagged with the loss.
Sox center fielder Brent Lillibridge provided the defensive highlight of the game, if not the season, with a spectacular catch against the outfield wall in the fifth inning. A boisterous crowd gave Lillibridge a standing ovation after he extended his glove, crashed into the wall and held on to the ball to rob Brewers hitter Carlos Gomez of extra bases.
Axelrod pumped his right fist toward Lillibridge after the catch.
“Honestly, I thought it was [gone] when he hit it,” Axelrod said. “It sounded pretty good off the bat. I’ve seen [Lillibridge] do things like that before, so it doesn’t really surprise me, but it’s amazing to watch.”
Axelrod endured an up-and-down outing as a fill-in for Philip Humber, who went on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of a right elbow strain.
In his second start of the season and the fifth of his career, Axelrod allowed five runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. One of those runs was unearned because of a fielding error by Viciedo in the second.
Viciedo atoned for his misplay with one of the best games of his career at the plate. He muscled an opposite-field home run off of Brewers starter Randy Wolf in the second inning to go along with a pair of run-scoring singles.
The blast was Viciedo’s 13th of the season, which tied him with Paul Konerko for second on the team. Only Adam Dunn (23 home runs) has more.
“It feels great,” Viciedo said through an interpreter after the game. “I felt it at [batting] practice, and that always translates into games. Once I went on the field, what I did on practice came through on the field. It was a great day.”
Quick hits: Sox lefthander Jose Quintana will pitch today in front of his father, Abel, for the first time since he became a major-leaguer. “It’s something that we dreamed of when I was a kid,” Quintana said. … As rumors swirl that the Sox could try to acquire Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, Sox manager Robin Ventura playfully dodged questions about possible trades. “I haven’t talked to my sources today,” Ventura said.