CHICAGO – The fireworks started a day early at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox’s four home runs Tuesday contributed to a 19-run outburst against the Texas Rangers. The Sox won by at least 17 runs for the seventh time in franchise history – the first time they had done so since 1987 – in the 19-2 drubbing.
Three first-inning homers off Rangers starter Roy Oswalt gave the Sox a 4-0 lead in the stress-free win.
The Sox also set season highs in hits in an inning (eight) and extra-base hits (10). Eight of the nine Sox starters finished with at least two hits.
“Those are the fun ones for the offense,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “They’re few and far between but when you get one of those, especially against a guy like Roy, who has been really good for his whole career, it’s special.”
Reliance on rookies: General manager Ken Williams said Tuesday the Sox have discussed searching for veteran bullpen help on the trade market.
With seven rookie pitchers – the most in the majors – including five in the bullpen, it’s understandable that the Sox would like another arm to complement veterans Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton.
Although Williams didn’t rule anything out, he’s confident the youngsters can do the job. He compared this year’s group with the unproven pitchers who excelled in high-stress situations for the 2005 and 2008 teams.
“If a guy comes out and he shows you he can get it done and he’s composed, then the stage is the stage,” Williams said. “You’ve got to allow him to get the job done on the stage.”
Danks update: Slow progress and no timetable continues testing the patience of injured pitcher John Danks.
Danks, on the disabled list since May 25 because of a strained left shoulder, received two cortisone shot in his ailing shoulder Friday and played catch before Tuesday’s series opener versus Texas. While Danks still does not know when he will return to the rotation, the soreness in his shoulder has improved.
But Danks is at the mercy of his shoulder at this point, and he hopes to avoid any further setbacks.
“If I can just get over the soreness, that will tell us a lot, but hopefully it’s soon,” Danks said. “I’m chomping at the bit and getting impatient now. I’ve been on the DL long enough, and it’s been kind of the same thing every day. I’m ready to just start playing.”