Because Jose Abreu hit his second home run in two games, Hector Noesi picked up his first win in two years.
It's not quite that simple, but Abreu's two-run blast in the first inning had a lot to do with it. That gave Noesi a lead for just the second time this season -- at least as a White Sox starter. He wobbled some through six innings, but he never let it slip away. As a result, Noesi has his first victory since May 6, 2012, and the White Sox return to .500 for the 19th time this season.
Abreu's blast resembled his one from Monday in a few ways -- to left field, on an 0-1 count after Gordon Beckham reached. This time, though, it was to the left field corner during his first plate appearance instead of his second, and Beckham doubled instead of singling.
Noesi took the mound with a 2-0 lead and promptly jeopardized it by allowing a two-out double and a walk. He came back to strike out Adrian Gonzalez, and that set the tone for the rest of his day. He allowed his fair share of baserunners -- five hits and four walks over six innings -- but he limited the damage to a Dee Gordon sacrifice fly in the second inning.
Beckham's defense had a little to do with that. Noesi fell into trouble in the fourth inning when back-to-back singles put runners on the corners with one out. Up came good-hitting pitcher Dan Haren, who put a good swing on a first-pitch fastball and hit a line drive over Noesi's head. Beckham had been shading up the middle, and he snared it with a diving effort before it hit the dirt for the second out. Noesi wasn't out of the clear, but he survived six consecutive Gordon foul balls to strike him out to end the threat.
White Sox pitching recorded only two 1-2-3 innings all night. Fortunately, one of them was Ronald Belisario's ninth inning. He picked up his fourth save on three routine grounders to second, bringing the night to a relaxing close after a couple of cluttered-but-scoreless innings before him. Jake Petricka walked two batters with two outs and nobody on in the seventh, and Zach Putnam allowed a single and a walk with two downs in the eighth. That brought the tying run to the plate both times, but they couldn't even make a dent in the deficit. The Dodgers were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on the evening.
The Sox weren't nearly as busy on the basepaths as the Dodgers -- only nine baserunners to Los Angeles' 13 -- but they found ways to stretch the lead regardless. Abreu picked up his third RBI in the third when he followed an Adam Eaton walk and a Beckham single with a run-scoring groundout, and Tyler Flowers took Haren the other way for a solo shot one inning later. The Sox were just 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position, and they stranded just three. Abreu's homer made both of those numbers look a little better than they should have, and he helped pretty up Noesi's win column as well.