As it turns out, all the White Sox needed to break out of their offensive "slump" was a visit from old friend Brandon McCarthy and the worst-record-in-baseball Arizona Diamondbacks as the White Sox used a big fourth inning to cruise to a 9-3 victory Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
After running through the White Sox's order for the first time flawlessly, McCarthy's stuff looked a bit more predictable the second time around. The White Sox jumped all over him, with nine of the first 10 batters reaching safely, including three jumping on the first pitch of the at-bat, and three more on just the second.
The inning was punctuated by Alexei Ramirez — one of the few to not jump on McCarthy early — getting the 3-0 green light and pounding a 95-mph sinker for a grand slam. In all, the White Sox plated seven in the fourth inning to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 7-2 lead.
The offensive onslaught backed Andre Rienzo, who improved to 3-0 on the season. He fell behind 2-0 in the third inning when Gerardo Parra blasted a two-run shot, but proceeded to retire the next six Diamondbacks he faced and allowed just one more run on an A.J. Pollock RBI single that scored Cody Ross.
He was lifted with two outs in the fifth inning after back-to-back walks to Aaron Hill and Eric Chavez, and finished the game allowing three earned runs on four hits in 5.2 innings with three strikeouts and two walks. He was relieved by Zach Putnam, who combined with Ronald Belisario and Matt Lindstrom for 3.1 shutout innings.
Every member of the White Sox's starting lineup recorded a hit save for Adam Dunn, who went 0-for-4. Tyler Flowers blasted his second home run (and fifth extra base hit) of the season in the eighth inning and Jose Abreu — playing DH thanks to a bum ankle — hit a mammoth shot to center for his Major League-leading 13th home run of the season.
Team Record: 19-18
Next game is Saturday vs. Arizona at 6:10 p.m. CT on Comcast SportsNet
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