White Sox top Brewers; Dayan Viciedo drives in four
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org June 23, 2012 11:34PM
Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, part of a three-hit, four RBI night. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: July 25, 2012 6:53AM
The White Sox won’t have a winning record in interleague play this season for the first time since 2007, when they were 4-14. The best they can hope for is 9-9 if they defeat the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
That wouldn’t be painful in
itself, except it comes as part of the team’s painful month of June.
Close losses and injuries have played a part in the pitching and hitting woes of late, but manager Robin Ventura has seen positives in the ability of his team to bounce back.
‘‘You can hang your head and not do anything, but they have the ability to take it day by day and not let if affect them today,’’ he said.
The bounce came in the late
innings Saturday with an 8-6 victory against the Brewers that featured 14 hits a day after the Sox managed only three against Zack Greinke. The result left the Sox a half-game behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.
The go-ahead run scored in the seventh against reliever Jose Veras (3-3), with an extra run tacked on in the eighth for Jesse Crain (2-1), who took the loss a night earlier.
‘‘After [a 1-0 loss Friday in 10 innings], we’ve had some other close ones when we couldn’t push through at the end,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It’s a confidence boost for the offense. They got it done after a week of close ones where they didn’t.’’
The biggest bat belonged to Dayan Viciedo, who was 3-for-4 with four RBI, including a two-run homer (his 13th).
‘‘I felt it in practice, and that
always translates into games,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s been a tough month for me, but it doesn’t affect my confidence. You have to keep going at it, and it will turn around.’’
Viciedo had only one home run and two RBI in his last 17 games, and the start of this game wasn’t positive, as he committed an error in the second that led to an unearned run for the Brewers.
It was his first error in 84 games, ending the longest current errorless streak for a Sox player.
Viciedo’s woes had mirrored his team’s, with the month of June
seeing the Sox fall from first in the AL Central as the hitting and pitching dipped. Injuries have played a part in the pitching woes, with starters John Danks and Philip Humber sidelined, though Jose Quintana has been a savior in the rotation.
The Sox went 18-11 in May,
tying the Los Angeles Angels for the best record in the month. It was their most victories in a month since July 2010 (18-8).
The bats came alive Saturday before 30,337. The Sox hit .388
(14-for-36) after hitting only .202 (58-for-286) in their previous nine games. In addition to Viciedo, the Sox got multihit games from Gordon Beckham (3-for-5), Alex Rios (3-for-4) and Alexei Ramirez
Outstanding defensive plays from Orlando Hudson at third and Brent Lillibridge in center field also were a boost for starter Dylan Axelrod, who went 51/3 innings filling in for Humber.
‘‘I wasn’t nervous at all, just excited,’’ Axelrod said. ‘‘I feel comfortable here. I think just getting back out there will help me for the next start.’’
Axelrod gave up five runs, four earned, on a night that saw the bullpen bring five arms to assist, including Addison Reed’s four-out effort to earn his ninth save.
‘‘I thought Ax did fine,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘He battled and got us to the point where we could win.’’