Tyler Flowers’ powerful start has been boon for White Sox
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org April 3, 2013 8:58PM
White Sox Tyler Flowers hits a home run during the third inning at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill., on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 3, 2013 10:18PM
Pitching will be a strength for the White Sox — but the long ball isn’t taking a back seat just yet.
With four home runs Wednesday to key the 5-2 victory against 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. “It will even out. 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,’’ Flowers said. “You’re just looking for quality at-bats and hits.
“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 in handling the pitching staff. But his bat has been enough in the early going to help boost his status as A. J. Pierzynski’s replacement.
“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 with the Sox, tying him for third place on the franchise all-time list with Frank Thomas.