White Sox 8, Indians 1: Morel's second homer breaks it open

Tonight's game turned from kind of a drag into one of the most enjoyable White Sox games of the year, and you can pick which play the game turned on.

If you're a pessimist, you can point to Ozzie Guillen's befuddling decision to make Tyler Flowers bunt two runners over with nobody out in the seventh.

If you're an optimist, you'll point to the first pitch after Flowers struck out. That happened to be a Frank Herrmann fastball that Brent Morel jumped on for a three-run shot, and his second homer of the game. It gave the White Sox a comfortable three-run lead, and they stretched out their legs even further by the time Paul Konerko was done. After Brent Lillibridge took a Josh Judy fastball to the hand to load the bases, Konerko unloaded them with his 10th career grand slam.

The end result: A seven-run seventh, and the's Sox biggest inning since they lit up Fausto Carmona and Friends for eight runs in the fourth inning on Opening Day.

Throw in Juan Pierre's 2,000th career hit, and it was an evening worth celebrating on the South Side.

For the first six innings, merriment didn't seem to be in the cards. A persistent rain oscillated between "mist" and "drizzle" settings all evening, which made the official attendance of 22,063 seem slightly inflated.

Gavin Floyd's pitch count ballooned in a similar fashion. He found himself in a full count to damn near every hitter, and as a result, he'd thrown 112 pitches when Guillen pulled him with two outs in the sixth. He didn't pitch nearly as poorly as he paced himself. If you run his line (5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) through the pitch-count estimator, he should have only thrown around 80 pitches.

Still, he found a way to limit the damage to one whole run in the first, when Asdrubal Cabrera singled with two outs, stole second, and came around to score on an opposite-field single by Jim Thome.

Morel evened the score in the third with a first-pitch homer to left off Cleveland starter David Huff, but the Sox offense looked equally sluggish otherwise. The White Sox didn't even reach scoring position until the seventh inning. At least they made the most of it -- one night after going 3-for-16 with RISP, the Sox went 2-for-3, and both those hits counted.

Matt Thornton picked up the win in relief, his first of the season. He technically picked it up when he struck out Lonnie Chisenhall to end the seventh, but he felt guilty enough to throw a 1-2-3 eighth, too.

Record: 72-70 | Box score | Play-by-play

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