Well, this is baseball distilled to its sweetest form. Everybody gained five pounds for having watched it.
The White Sox sure fattened up on Roy Oswalt's fatty fat-fat pitches, anyway. They took him deep three times in the first inning, then piled on the crooked numbers while Chris Sale threw zeroes, resulting in what will likely be the easiest victory of the season.
(To find a bigger victory, you have to go back to the White Sox's 20-2 victory over the Washington Senators on June 17, 1956.)
It was a helluva welcome party for Kevin Youkilis. In his White Sox home debut, Youkilis hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat, part of a 3-for-6, four-run, four-RBI night. He also made a couple of nice plays in the field.
As for the others, we may as well take a shortcut and just list their accomplishments:
- Alejandro De Aza: 2-for-6, three runs
- Adam Dunn: 2-for-3, homer, double, two walks (he went back-to-back with Youkilis)
- Paul Konerko: 2-for-4, two RBI
- Alex Rios: 3-for-4, homer, three runs, three RBI
- A.J. Pierzynski: 3-for-5, homer, three RBI
- Dayan Viciedo: 2-for-4, double, walk
- Alexei Ramirez: 3-for-5, double, two RBI
Pierzynski sealed the deal in his own special way. In his first chance to stick it to Ron Washington for leaving him of the AL All-Star team, Pierzynski hit a no-doubt, three-run shot off Yoshinori Tateyama to cap off a nine-run fifth.
Gordon Beckham was the only Sox starter without a hit, although he was lifted in the sixth inning after an 0-for-3 night.
On the other side, Sale seemed to occupy the mound about 4 percent of the game's duration. He pitched 7 1/3 easy innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while striking out four. On a lively night at U.S. Cellular Field, Sale got 11 groundouts.
He did have one run charged to him, although he probably shouldn't have been in the game. Sale started the seventh, even with a 19-0 lead, and gave up a leadoff single. He left the game to a standing ovation, but the run came around to score on Brian Omogrosso's watch. He only threw 95 pitches, but considering how carefully the Sox are monitoring his workload (he's going to miss the half-ending start on Sunday), it seems like they would want to remove stress wherever they can.
Hopefully that turns out to be mere nitpicking, because Sale shut down baseball's best offense, and that's the far bigger story. He finishes his first-ever first half as a starter 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA.