White Sox have 202 homers and it’s hardly enough
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org September 25, 2012 10:36PM
Updated: October 27, 2012 6:20AM
The home run has been the best offensive weapon for the White Sox for years, and with 202 already this season, they are on track for their eighth-best homer season ever.
Only the New York Yankees have more homers, but four teams have scored more total runs than the Sox, and that’s the problem.
All three of the Sox’ runs Tuesday came from solo homers, but they went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
In the last 19 games, the Sox are only 27-for-155 (.174) with runners in scoring position. That could haunt them if it continues in the last week of the regular season.
‘‘I don’t know why,’’ second baseman Gordon Beckham said. ‘‘I don’t have a good answer. We’ve just struggled stringing hits together.’’
Beckham’s last at-bat Tuesday — a grounder into a fielder’s choice — against Indians closer Chris Perez came with pinch runner Jordan Danks at second. The Sox left Alexandro De Aza at third and Adam Dunn at second in the first inning with one out when Paul Konerko — who homered in the ninth — grounded out and Alex Rios flied out.
There may be no reason other than a slump coming at a time when it’s most noticeable.
‘‘That’s been one of the things of late,’’ manager Robin Ventura said of the long ball and lack of ‘‘small ball.’’ ‘‘The guys were having good at-bats. That’s the way it goes.’’
The Sox have hit .272 with runners in scoring position for the season — sixth best in the majors — with Rios and Alexei Ramirez ranking seventh and eighth, respectively, among American League hitters.
They have homered in 30 of their last 34 home games, but the long-ball advantage of U.S. Cellular Field in the summer shows in comparing their 118 homers at home to their 84 on the road.
The Sox are averaging only 2.4 runs per game in their last eight, going 2-6 in those games.