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White Sox 4, Angels 2: A pinch of Pierzynski more than enough

A.J. Pierzynski's only swing of the game ... swung the game.
A.J. Pierzynski's only swing of the game ... swung the game.

A.J. Pierzynski had homered in four straight games, and coming off the bench to bat for Tyler Flowers in the seventh inning with the White Sox trailing 2-1, he might have only one chance to extend it.

One shot was all he needed. Hell, one swing was all he needed.

With a 2-0 count against Jason Isringhausen, Pierzynski hit a high fly to deep right center field that carried ... and carried ... and landed one row deep, giving the White Sox a 3-2 lead. The Sox added an insurance run in the eighth with an Alexei Ramirez triple off the end of Torii Hunter's glove, and Addison Reed pitched around a leadoff walk to close out the game and give the Sox a key series win.

Nate Jones picked up the victory in one of those funny ways a guy can win a game -- giving up the go-ahead run, and then watching the offense take the lead from the bench -- but he deserved something for the series.

Francisco Liriano looked strong through four innings, but Maicer Izturis' shot back to the mound ricocheted off Liriano, right above his knee. His landing leg didn't look particularly strong through the rest of the inning, and the Angels were able to get the first run off him with a bunt single, sac bunt, and a sac fly.

He left the game after that, and so Jones came in for the third straight day. He looked iffy in the sixth, loading the bases with three one-out singles before escaping the jam with a double play.

He wasn't so fortunate in the seventh. He walked Bourjos on four straight pitches to start the inning, and eventually he came around to score when Torii Hunter hooked a first-pitch single for a key two-out RBI.

The offense would eventually get in the game. Dan Haren did a nice job of expanding Dana DeMuth's strike zone with an array of sliders and splitters on the outside edge, and then the edge of the edge, and so on and so forth. The Sox had some lengthy at-bats, but they didn't get into the run column until Kevin Youkilis scorched a line drive that stayed up long enough to clear the wall in left, tying the game at 1.

The long at-bats paid off, though. Haren had to leave the game after six innings and 112 pitches, and the Sox were able to get to the Angels' bullpen yet again. Isringhausen was greeted with a leadoff single by Viciedo, followed by the Pierzynski homer and a Gordon Beckham liner to left. He departed the game without recording an out.

Bullet points:

  • Paul Konerko collected three singles, and his hardest-hit ball of the day was caught by Alberto Callaspo at third.
  • Viciedo and Alex Rios each picked up outfield assists -- Viciedo's throw home on Hunter's single was cut off in time to get Hunter at second, and Rios had an easy throw to first after a flyout for an easy 9-3 double play when Mark Trumbo never looked up on a hit and run.

Record:59-48 | Box score | Play-by-play