Out of the 38 White Sox victories after the All-Star break, here are nine worth storing away.
Following up on the top nine victories from the first half of the season, here's a trip through the back nine...
Angel Hernandez correctly rules that Darin Mastroianni trapped Alejandro De Aza's leadoff line drive in the seventh. Then he changes his mind and says Mastroianni caught it. With the White Sox trailing 4-2 at the time, this should have been fatal to their chances of winning. But then Kevin Youkilis draws a four-pitch walk and Adam Dunn one-hands a two-run homer to tie it up, and the Sox finish the game with nine unanswered to win it easily.
After scoring the game-tying single, A.J. Pierzynski yells at Gordon Beckham, "Let's hit this piece of s---!" Beckham doesn't come through, so Pierzynski takes it upon himself to homer off Jeff Gray with a runner on. Addison Reed makes sure that insurance run counts for something, although he is composed enough to catch Paul Konerko's awkward flip for the final out.
Alex Rios contributes three run-scoring hits, capped off by a walk-off two-run homer off David Carpenter. It was a real team effort to get Philip Humber off the hook. For instance, Alejandro De Aza's takeout slide and Konerko's inside route prevented a double play, while Gordon Beckham started this sweet 4-6-3. Somehow, Chris Iannetta withstands this collision with Dunn.
The White Sox hold a 7-2 lead going into the ninth inning. The inning starts with Philip Humber giving up a solo homer to Jesus Montero. The bloodshed ends after Addison Reed gives up a game-tying single to John Jaso on an 0-2 fastball, and Alex Rios' fruitless throw to third is way off line, and gets past Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis strikes back in the top of the ninth with a game-tying single, and it ends when Paul Konerko hits a deep fly to right center, and this happens:
Lost in the chaos is a two-homer night for Dunn.
Pierzynski and Robin Ventura are ejected after arguing Lance Barrett's strike zone as Jose Quintana falls behind 3-1. Tyler Flowers, Pierzynski's replacement, makes the ejection a net positive with a solo homer and a two-strike bunt single that rolled all the way to third base. That moved Rios to third, and a sac fly gives the Sox an insurance run they would need.
Everybody hoped that the rest of the White Sox's season would follow the path blazed by Rios' tremendous takeout slide. Instead, it seemed to take its lead from Dewayne Wise getting thrown out at third on an unnecessary risk before Gordon Beckham could score.
Adam Dunn comes through with two more homers, including a three-run shot off Vinnie Pestano on an 0-2 pitch that gives the White Sox a 5-3 lead. Donnie Veal records his first career save, and the White Sox hold onto their one-game lead. It's the last time this season they can say that.