Juan Pierre repairs image in White Sox’ 6-4 win
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org July 1, 2011 4:19PM
Jaun Pierre of the White Sox runs to third base in the first inning at Wrigley Field Friday, July 1, 2011, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~ Sun-Times
Updated: July 2, 2011 6:38AM
Credit Juan Pierre with making the most of another big situation Friday against the Cubs, tripling in the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning off Randy Wells in the White Sox’ 6-4 victory.
And credit Cubs manager Mike Quade for taking the blame for sticking with the right-handed Wells to face left-handed pinch hitter Adam Dunn (walk) and left-handed Pierre after Wells already had given up a two-run homer to Alexei Ramirez and a single to Alex Rios.
‘‘I just got a pitch to hit the last few days, and they were in pretty big situations, so there’s more attention,’’ said Pierre, who was coming off a 3-for-5, three-RBI day against the Colorado Rockies. ‘‘Wells had been pitching well up to that point, and they had no one warming to pitch to Dunn, so I wasn’t surprised I faced him.’’
But many in the crowd of 41,486 at Wrigley Field were.
‘‘This one’s on me, as far as I’m concerned,’’ Quade said after the inning turned a 4-2 Cubs lead into a loss. Wells had given up two runs in the first and just two more hits through six innings.
‘‘He was rolling,’’ Quade said. ‘‘When the game got tied, and given the bullpen situation, I backed off and really tried to push him through a matchup that really wasn’t favorable to him — and I’m a matchup guy.’’
Quade said extra-inning games against the San Francisco Giants left the bullpen limited. Left-hander John Grabow wasn’t available after working two innings Thursday. Lefty James Russell was someone ‘‘I was committed to not using’’ after he worked in two of the last three games, Quade said.
Because closer Carlos Marmol had worked three innings in the last two games, the Cubs had pegged Sean Marshall to close. And because Kerry Wood was in his first day back from a stint on the disabled list with a blistered finger, Quade said he wanted to ‘‘make sure I had him backed up’’ in his first appearance.
‘‘I thought it was something I’d try to push through and shouldn’t have, and I over-thought the thing,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I should have said to hell with it and made that move and used those guys, and [Chris] Carpenter could have pitched extra innings if that’s what took place.’’
Jeff Samardzija finished the seventh, and Wood and Marshall followed with scoreless innings. But the Sox had their own bullpen pluses with scoreless innings from Brian Bruney, Jesse Crain and Sergio Santos (18th save) to preserve the victory for starter Edwin Jackson (5-6).
Jackson, who won for the first time since May 22, gave up all four Cubs runs, including a solo homer to Aramis Ramirez in the sixth — Ramirez’s 300th career homer and sixth in his last eight games.
‘‘It feels good because that is something that I worked for and nobody gave it to me,’’ Ramirez said of reaching 300. ‘‘But it would feel a lot better if we won the game.’’
The feel-good mood belonged to the Sox, now within one game of .500 for the first time since April 19 and holding a 3-1 lead in crosstown competition.
For Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who has spent days defending Pierre against critics, the mood was especially positive.
‘‘I feel proud of him because he faced so much adversity and negativity from everyone, and he kept playing,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘I told him, ‘You only have to worry about what your manager says.’ I don’t play players just because I love them, but the love and respect I have for him, it’s because he plays hard and he plays good.’’