Sox coach Jeff Manto’s hitters tear up Twins
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com May 24, 2012 10:42PM
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 24: Alex Rios #51 of the Chicago White Sox runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins on May 24, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:04AM
White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto said he’s eager to see most of his hitters doing well rather than five or six at a time. There are signs that could be happening — the Sox’ five home runs Thursday night raised their total to 21 in the last 10 games.
Alejandro De Aza hit a grand slam, and Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo also went deep in an 11-8 victory over the Twins.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun watching these guys when everybody comes out of it,’’ Manto said. “Right now, the quality of the at-bats is good; that’s all I care about.’’
Aggressive swinger Alexei Ramirez, who went 1-for-4, is in “a weird funk,’’ Manto said. “He’s swinging at bad pitches, yet he’s lining out all over the place. Once he narrows down his strike zone, he’ll be fine.’’
Ramirez, a Silver Slugger Award winner as the American League’s top-hitting shortstop in 2010, is batting .201. He had an infield single and lined out hard to right field.
“You don’t want to take [Ramirez’s aggressive approach] away,’’ Manto said.
Reed it on Twitter
Rookie Addison Reed was thrilled to find out Wednesday that manager Robin Ventura considers him the closer.
“It was awesome,’’ Reed said. “Yeah, I didn’t even know until my sister texted me, and she said she saw it on Twitter. Everything is on Twitter now.’’
In his first outing since it became official, Reed gave up a two-run homer to Justin Morneau in a non-save situation. He has four saves in four opportunities.
“Like I’ve always said, it’s something I always wanted to do,’’ he said before the game. “I love being in that situation in that ninth inning, so I’m ready for it.’’
All-Star first quarter
A little more than halfway to the All-Star Game in Kansas City, Pierzynski leads AL catchers in hitting (.301), RBI (29) and slugging (.500). On offensive numbers alone, Pierzynski’s credentials are a cut above the rest, including the Twins’ Joe Mauer (.301, two homers, 20 RBI).
“I’ve had good first halves and didn’t make it, so there is no reason to get your hopes up because it’s a popularity contest, and I usually don’t win a lot of those,’’ Pierzynski said.
Pierzynski was an All-Star in 2002 and ’06, winning the All-Star Final Vote in ’06.
“It’s a great time and experience,’’ Pierzynski said.
‘O,’ to be out of last place
Orlando Hudson went from last place in San Diego, where he batted .211, to second in Chicago. He wouldn’t be the first player to be revived by a change of scenery.
“I’m pumped up; we’re fighting for something,’’ said Hudson, who started at third base for the second consecutive night and went 1-for-3 with a double and run scored. “We got a great chance to win the division. It makes driving to the ballpark a lot of fun.’’