For the first time in what feels like an eternity, the White Sox have won a series. And what's most impressive about that is that it came on the road against the elite Texas Rangers after dropping the first of the three-game set. Here's a look at how the Sox took the rubber match.
After starter Jake Peavy was scratched just a few hours before first pitch due to back spasms, the team had to turn to Hector Santiago (pictured above, H/T Getty Images) to make his first start of the 2013 season on short rest.
Although he threw a bullpen session just yesterday (Wednesday), he was more than ready to go on Thursday night.
Though he only threw 5.1 innings, Hector was dominant, letting up just one earned run on an Adrian Beltre home run in the bottom of the second inning. In fact, he only let up one other hit besides that and added six strikeouts to his line.
Hector was in control from start to finish, pin-pointing all of his pitches wherever he pleased and changing speeds with ease. Though he's only 25 years old, he really does look like a veteran out there against the best, like the Texas Rangers this time for example.
With the strong performance, he lowered his season ERA to 2.29 and his WHIP to a staggering 1.02. Though bad news about Gavin Floyd's injury is starting to look like it's just around the corner, confidence around "Screwgie" should help to cover up some of that pain.
The bullpen was also very good, which was great to see play out for a second consecutive evening.
Though he was a bit wild, Matt Lindistrom came on and got Adrian Beltre to ground into a double play in the sixth inning after Santiago left, and Matt Thornton took care of his inherited runner (from Lindstrom) with no outs to work a perfect seventh inning.
And though Jesse Crain let base runners aboard, he too worked a scoreless inning to hand it over to the White Sox MVP thus far, Addison Reed.
Reed picked up his 10th save of the season on Thursday night, as he's now played a large part in 11 of the team's 12 wins (also has one win). No he was not perfect (2 walks), but he did strike out the side to set down the Rangers' potent offense.
He is now 10-of-10 in save opportunities and has a dominant 1.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
The three runs for the Sox came on one swing (what's new), but hey, we'll take what we can get.
In the top of the sixth inning, after two quick outs were made, Conor Gillaspie and Alexei Ramirez singled before Tyler Flowers (pictured above, H/T Getty Images) drove 'em all home on his fourth home run of the season, all of which have given the White Sox the lead.
Considering how bad he's been overall at the plate, that surely oughta count for something.
Tomorrow, the White Sox start a series in Kansas City, which Matt Hoeppner will preview before it gets underway, as always.
I can tell you, though, that it's Jeremy Guthrie taking the hill for KC tomorrow. While that is probably a lot more scary than it should be for us Sox fans, well, we've seen Dylan Axelrod take down better.