Phil Humber, Alexei Ramirez shine in White Sox win
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 31, 2011 11:40PM
White Sox starting pitcher Phil Humber picked up his fourth victory Tuesday night. | Elise Amendola~AP
Updated: September 11, 2011 12:22AM
BOSTON — Two wins at Fenway Park have done wonders for the White Sox’ outlook.
“To come in here and beat [Jon] Lester last night and win another game, we’re going to win a series, and we’re going for the sweep tomorrow,’’ said Sox starter Phil Humber, whose latest strong start helped the Sox turn back the Red Sox 10-7 on Tuesday night. “[Boston] is a good ballclub. It shows we can play with anybody, especially on the road. Yeah, we’ve had rough patches, but in the end, we feel we’re going to be right there.’’
The Sox (26-31) won their sixth straight game at Fenway. A victory this afternoon would complete a three-game sweep and even their record to 5-5 on a testy road trip through Texas, Toronto and Boston.
Something tells the Sox they’re in for something good.
“I just feel our team is bound to start winning seven out of every 10 games,’’ reliever Matt Thornton said. “It’s one of those things where we haven’t hit our stride, and we’re still within striking distance. . . . We’ve had a nasty schedule, too.’’
The Sox close out a nine-game road trip today, their third three-city tour in a travel-heavy first two months that leaves them with 58 games at home, 47 on the road.
“It’s been a long, long, long road, and we’ve battled pretty well, kept ourselves within a reasonable distance,’’ Thornton said. “It’s just a matter of getting things going a little bit. I really think our team has what it takes to make a nice little run here.’’
Alexei Ramirez had four singles and three RBI, Gordon Beckham three singles, an RBI and two runs scored and A.J. Pierzynski had a single and an RBI double.
Paul Konerko doubled, scored two runs and drove one in with a sacrifice fly. Slumping Adam Dunn didn’t crush the ball but he reached base four times on two walks, a hit-by-pitch and an infield hit.
Humber (4-3), good and steady as usual, held the Red Sox to one run through seven innings before tiring and getting charged with three runs in the eighth. David Ortiz’s three-run home run against Will Ohman cut the Sox’ lead to 10-5.
Humber allowed four runs in 72/3 innings. He gave up nine hits and a walk and struck out five.
“They’re really good, man,’’ Humber said, “especially in this ballpark. Even though we scored 10 runs, no lead is safe against that lineup.’’
Nothing comes easy for the White Sox. In a game they led 10-1, manager Ozzie Guillen had to get closer Sergio Santos up after Brian Bruney got knocked around in the ninth. Santos wasn’t needed after Chris Sale struck out Adrian Gonzalez on two fastballs and a slider for a three-pitch save.
“Our plan was to go out there and attack, throwing strikes, and, hey, it worked out for the best this time,’’ Sale said.
Sale has had two successful late-inning outings.
“When that phone rings and it’s my name, I go out there and not worry about the situation or the hitter and what inning it is,’’ he said. “Just execute my pitches and do my job.’’
The Sox’ lineup also did its job, roughing up starter Alfredo Aceves (2-1) and banging out 15 hits. Ramirez had four for the second time this season. He led the team with 36 hits in May and is batting .355 in his last 21 games.
“I feel good about the team,’’ he said. “It’s all about patience and having the confidence. That’s all coming.’’
Beckham also is coming around, batting .407 in his last nine games. Pierzynski is batting .343 in his last 19 games.
“That’s the kind of offense we thought we were going to have all year long,’’ Guillen said. “Right now it’s just clicking. We’re still missing [Alex] Rios, struggling, and Adam. But the rest of the guys swing the bat well. It’s a plus. When they start swinging better, we’ll see what happens.’’