There's nothing like a win on dog day. Well a win that mattered would've been nice. Either way, here's a look into the rare victory on the south side.
In his first two major league starts, Erik Johnson got no help. No, he didn't look great, but as we have said, sometimes poor play behind you can mess you up in the head and help you fall into a poor outing. But on Monday, the third time was the charm.
For just the third time in the past 18 games, the White Sox picked up a win, which was credited to Johnson for his stellar performance.
Johnson went six innings, although he was certainly tested early on in this one. With the leadoff man Alex Presley on base having led off the game with a walk, Johnson got former White Sox infielder Eduardo Escobar to roll into what looked like a double play ball to short stop. But when Gordon Beckham threw the ball away and Trevor Plouffe followed with a walk. So there were runners on the corners with just one out as it looked like Johnson's teammates had let him down again.
But EJ promptly struck out the next two hitters to end the threat. And he took that momentum forward, breezing for the most part through the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings. Over those four frames, he struck out four Twins hitters, didn't walk any more, and yielded only two singles (in the fourth). But the Twins made sure to give him one more test before he exited the game.
In the top of the sixth inning, Johnson retired the first two Twins before letting Minnesota load the bases (single – IF single – HPB). But the rookie then struck out fellow rookie Josmil Pinto to end the threat.
His final line read 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 8 K to go along with an ERA that dropped to 2.87. But in a season like this, you cannot ignore seemingly one of the 'few' offensive breakouts the White Sox have had this season.
The night was highlighted by the Sox's unbelievable seven-run first inning. After Alejandro De Aza led off the inning with an infield single and Alexei Ramirez followed with a walk, the flood gates opened up. Conor Gillaspie, Paul Konerko, Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, and Alexei Ramirez all had RBI singles. De Aza also brought in a run with a walk.
Then in the fourth inning, Adam Dunn (32) and Dayan Viciedo (13) hit back-to-back solo homers to extend the lead to nine runs, where it'd stand until Jordan Danks (2R) and Alexei (solo) added HR's in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
The White Sox are now 59-91 and sit 5.5 games behind the Twins for fourth in the AL Central.