Are we having fun yet? Welcome to the 2012 pennant race, where the Chicago White Sox seem to enjoy the roller coaster ride of emotions. After being swept by the Kansas City Royals, the White Sox were set to take on the American East leading New York Yankees in this mid-week series that could be a possible playoff preview sometime down the road.
The fun started Monday, when the Yankees grabbed a 3-0 lead after two innings and it seemed like maybe the steam was running out of the south side team. Gavin Floyd wouldn’t even see the end of the third inning. The White Sox came roaring back in the fifth inning however, starting with a DeWayne Wise two run homerun. After an Alex Rios fielder’s choice scored the tying run, AJ Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo both had RBI singles to give the White Sox a two run lead. As I have talked about so many times this season, the White Sox would give the lead right back the next half inning, including a Derek Jeter homerun. Gordon Beckham would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer. The long ball didn’t stop for the White Sox, as Alexei Ramirez and Adam Dunn joined the party to eventually give the White Sox a 9-6 win.
After shaking off the Kansas City sweep with a series opening win the night before, the White Sox sent Fransisco Liriano to the mound on Tuesday night, looking to pick up where they left off the night before. Jeter continued his hot streak with a leadoff homerun for the Yankees, and Curtis Granderson would add another run in the top of the first to again give the Yankees an early lead. Paul Konerko would eventually tie it up with a solo shot in the fourth. For a team that has recently lived on the long ball, an opportunity arose for the White Sox to add some runs when the bases were loaded in the fifth. Kevin Youkilis didn’t disappoint the home crowd, sending a ball 362 feet for a grand slam and a 6-2 lead. A rare 2 hour and 37 minute Yankees game ended in a 7-3 White Sox winner.
On Wednesday night, the White Sox looked to be on the other end of the sweep when they sent Chris Sale to the mound opposing the Yankees Phil Hughes. It was quite the pitching matchup, and far from the offensive games that had been played the previous two games. In the third inning, Youkilis hit a sacrifice fly that would score Beckham, giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead. The Yankees would tie it in the sixth on another Jeter homerun, his third of the series. In the bottom half of the inning, Rios would join the party with a homerun of his own, giving the White Sox a 2-1 lead. The homerun would prove to be a game winner, as that was all the White Sox would need, as Addison Reed closed out the game to help the White Sox pick up the three game sweep of the Yankees.
After the up and down swing of the past six games, the White Sox currently stand two games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. With the Tigers just three series away, the White Sox will now host the Seattle Mariners starting on Friday night, when Jake Peavy takes the mound, followed by Jose Quintana and Gavin Floyd.