Tyler Flowers snaps hitting slump with 3-run jack in White Sox’ victory
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org April 17, 2013 11:14PM
Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
AT BLUE JAYS
The facts: 6:07 p.m., CSN,
The pitchers: Chris Sale (1-1, 5.21 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (1-2, 5.82).
Updated: April 17, 2013 11:53PM
TORONTO — A day off did Tyler Flowers good.
The White Sox’ big, strong catcher hit a monster home run to right-center field in his first at-bat against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night, a three-run shot in the second inning off lefty J.A. Happ that came on the heels of a 1-for-28 slump. He also singled leading off the seventh in the Sox’ 7-0 victory.
Flowers had been benched in favor of switch-hitting Hector Gimenez on Tuesday and went to work with hitting coach Jeff Manto, opening his stance slightly.
‘‘For him, it’s just trying to get more comfortable,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘He’s opened up a little bit just to clear himself. It’s just more of him trying to find the comfort in being able to survive and do the things you need to do [as an every-day player].’’
Flowers hit homers on the first two days of the season and batted .333 during the six-game opening homestand before faltering.
‘‘As hitters, you’re always making adjustments and doing things,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘Flow was good one week, but he might not feel the same a week later, so you keep making adjustments.’’
Figuring it out
Gavin Floyd threw on the side with attention to ‘‘throwing through his slider.’’ It didn’t have its normal late break in a rough start Monday that dropped his record to 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA.
‘‘It’s a long season,’’ said Floyd, who has allowed 22 hits and seven walks over 15 1/3 innings. ‘‘I’m trying to grow from [the first three starts] and put them behind me at the same time.’’
It has been odd not having pitching coach Don Cooper on the road trip. Cooper (diverticulitis) is expected back Friday when the Sox open a homestand against the Minnesota Twins.
‘‘Yeah, this is my seventh year with Coop,’’ Floyd said. ‘‘I know it’s a tough time and that he’s hurting a little bit. We want him to get healthy and get back here. You miss him and his personality.’’
Addison Reed heard a lot about his 6.20 ERA in non-save situations last season, which is why he rates his nine-pitch perfect inning with two strikeouts against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday as his 2013 highlight. The Sox lost 9-4, and he came in only to get some work.
‘‘That was a big issue last year, and everybody was kind of freaking out,’’ Reed said. ‘‘The ERA was kind of up in non-save opportunities, but I honestly think that was coincidence because I take the same mind-set out there if it’s a one-run game or we’re up or down by seven, and that’s to get three outs in a row.’’