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Homers Still A Strength on the South Side
Pitching will be a strength for the White Sox this season–but the long ball isn’t taking a back seat just yet.
With four home runs Wednesday to key the 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals, the Sox had their most in one game since April 23, 2010 against the Seattle Mariners.
And with five homers total in two games–two by catcher Tyler Flowers–the team has seen all its runs come from the long ball.
“It’s a little like last year but it’s only two games in,” manager Robin Ventura said. “I think it will even out. Right now you take it wherever you can get it.”
The homers Wednesday came from Flowers, Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez. Flowers’ drive leading the third off starter Ervin Santana was significant because it was the second in as many games, but only the third time in his brief career he has homered in back to back games.
“I guess it’s good, but I’d be just as happy with line drives right now,” Flowers said. “You’re just looking for quality at-bats and hits right now.
“The hits and all that stuff, the home runs, that will all take care of itself as long as you focus on every at-bat and get a quality at-bat.”
The Sox had been looking first at Flowers’ work behind the plate handling the pitching staff. But his offense has been enough in the early going to help boost his status as A. J. Pierzynski’s replacement.
“I think what he’s been going through as far as spring training and knowing the expectations of where he’s at and knowing he’s following A.J., it’s nice for him to get off to a good start and hit a couple–and get a base hit, too,” Ventura said.
The Sox had five players hit at least 25 homers last season in Dunn, Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Viciedo. It isn’t necessarily what the team will look for this season–but it could be a pleasant surprise for the offense if it happens again.
The Sox had another big hit Wednesday in the form of a double in the sixth by Konerko–significant because it was his 2,136th as a Sox, tying him for third place on the franchise all-time list with Frank Thomas.
“Any time you get mentioned with Frank hitting-wise, it’s nice,” he said. “He’s definitely the best hitter this organization has ever seen and probably will ever see. To be mentioned with him and have a number that’s in the same ballpark in any regard is kind of cool.”