Quick start just what doctor ordered for Sox in 11-5 victory
BY DAVID JUST For Sun-Times Media August 15, 2014 11:05PM
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 15: Alexei Ramirez #10 of the Chicago White Sox reacts after he was hit by a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field on August 15, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 477588043
Updated: September 17, 2014 6:20AM
The tailspinning Toronto Blue Jays were a welcome sight for the White Sox on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.
After a run of eight games in which the Sox averaged just 1.6 runs, they put a pair of five-spots on the board and rolled to an 11-5 victory.
‘‘The offense was great tonight,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘To be able to bounce back and give up one in the first, just battle back, answer that, and put together a really great inning against a hot pitcher, it was good to see the offense do this tonight.’’
Much of the conversation in the Sox dugout and clubhouse before Friday’s game centered around Jose Abreu’s power drought and the offense’s inability to score without leadoff hitter Adam Eaton. But those problems seemed distant memories when the Sox took their first turn at the plate.
Leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza got things rolling with a double, and Abreu knocked him in two batters later for his first RBI since Aug. 4.
The Sox batted around in the first inning and roughed up starting pitcher Marcus Stroman for five runs and five hits in just two-thirds of an inning. Stroman (7-4) had pitched quality starts in four of his last five appearances, including a complete game against the Detroit Tigers last week.
‘‘The good news is we had him down and we didn’t let off of him,’’ cleanup hitter Adam Dunn said. ‘‘He could have easily gotten out of that inning and pitched six or seven, but we stayed on him pretty good.’’
The Sox rode the wave into the fifth, when No. 8 hitter Jordan Danks, who took Eaton’s spot on the roster, led off with a single. The Sox strung six hits together, all singles, in a second five-run inning.
Abreu and Dunn had three-hit games and combined for five RBI. The Sox belted 17 base hits in all; the six straight hits in the fifth were a season-best streak.
Seven of the nine Sox starters recorded at least two hits, and the five runs the Sox scored were the most in an inning since July 29 against the Tigers.
Starter Hector Noesi (7-8) was certainly happy for the run support.
‘‘It was good because my location was a little off today and I was trying to fight all day,’’ he said. ‘‘But I’m glad we scored runs.’’
The Sox had posted a team .206 batting average in their previous eight games and failed to score more than three runs in any of them.
‘‘A team always goes through highs and lows,” Abreu said. “That’s just part of baseball. You try to stay as consistent as you can.’’
The timing was right for an offensive revival, though. The Sox had a day off Thursday and returned from a five-game West Coast road trip to face a Blue Jays team that is 3-10 in August. The Jays were just 2½ games out of first place in the American League East on Aug. 1 and are now 7½ games back.