White Sox roll pair of sevens in rout
Castro, Lillibridge hit three-run homers; Garcia wins No. 6
CHICAGO -- On a Wednesday night when the hometown Blackhawks brought home a Stanley Cup championship to Chicago, the White Sox put on a spectacle of their own, bashing their way to a 15-3 win against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.
The South Siders batted around twice, and had two seven-run innings. That was the first time since April 23, 1981, that the White Sox had scored seven or more runs in two different innings.
Between the two rallies, every White Sox starter reached base at least once, and four of them did so twice.
The first rally came in the fourth off Detroit starter Rick Porcello (4-6), and was highlighted by Omar Vizquel notching two hits to tie and then pass Lou Gehrig for 55th place on the all-time hits list with 2,723. Between those two hits, Paul Konerko got an RBI on his two-run double and Ramon Castro knocked in three with a home run.
"I think everybody put a lot of good at-bats together," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think we were just looking for good pitches to hit, and they did it. I think part of the problems of the past, was swinging at bad pitches. We did a good job to try to get [Porcello] around the plate and put good swings on it."
Immediately after Castro's home run, the struggling Gordon Beckham smashed a double off the top of the wall. The hit marked his first extra-base hit in his past 112 at-bats.
"I moved back my hands into a more powerful position and I've just got to see the ball, hit the ball and make good decisions on good pitches to hit," Beckham said. "The funny thing is I hit that ball well, but I didn't hit that ball great and it almost got out of there."
That hit chased Porcello after just 3 1/3 innings, marking Porcello's shortest outing of the year.
"They got those hits so quick, it was like a slap in the face," Porcello said. "I didn't even realize what happened until I was out of the game. That's a perfect example of just letting the game speed up on me, and I've done that a couple times this year and not been able to stop it."
Freddy Garcia (6-3), on the other hand, turned in what is becoming his customary seven-inning, three-run performance. He flirted with danger in four different innings, but was able to induce outs whenever he needed them.
The start marks Garcia's seventh quality start in eight trips to the mound.
"Freddy knows about 'Big Game Freddy,' he got the nickname for a reason," Guillen said. "He always takes his game up to the next level when he's facing a good hitting team. He knows he can't play around. In the past when he was in Seattle, he always wanted to be in the big ones. I think he likes to compete against the best."
Those seven quality starts have come against the likes of the Yankees, Rangers, Rays, and Twins. Garcia has earned them, as those teams are the class of the American League so far.
"I pitch every five days," Garcia said. "You have to face the best teams in the American League and it's my job to do it. You have to throw a lot of strikes and you can't be behind the count. It's a good pitch, keep the ball down. Stay away from the big righty. When the big guys are coming up, don't have anyone on base."
Garcia extended his dominance against the Tigers, as he is now 12-2 with a 3.20 ERA in his last 15 starts against the Detroit nine.
Garcia got some help in the field from Juan Pierre in the fourth inning. The left fielder snagged a ball just over the fence off the bat of Brennan Boesch, and followed it up with another diving catch to end the inning, before the big White Sox rally.
The second rally in the eighth was punctuated by Brent Lillibridge's pinch-hit three-run home run to dead center. The length was estimated at 420 feet, a tape-measure shot from the diminutive shortstop.
"Absolutely," joked Lillibridge when he was asked if he is now a power hitter. "You see my stat line, 1-for-2 with a home run. That's what I'm going to do up here with the White Sox."
The three RBIs he notched on the home run were good for his career high in that department.
Most surprisingly for the White Sox, they went 10-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and only left two runners on base, despite having 19 baserunners.
Castro led the way with four RBIs, and he was followed closely by Vizquel and Lillibridge with three.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.