Johnson Wild-Yet-Effective, Bats Come Back To Life as White Sox End Skid

After a four-game losing streak that saw the White Sox bats go absent, the offense came back to life to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers.

But first we’ll discuss Sunday afternoon’s starter, Erik Johnson.

Johnson struggled mightily in Kansas City on their Opening Day but gradually improved the next two times out. In his most recent outing at home versus the Red Sox, he finally controlled his pitches and notched a very impressive quality start.

In this one his control issues came back, as he issued five walks over his five innings, but was able to manage the damage thanks to only letting up one base knock. When he threw strikes the Rangers were not able to do any damage. They got two across the plate against him (one earned).

Yes, it’d be nice to see him cut out the walks, but it’s good to see that he’s been making easy work of good lineups when he does work in and around the zone. If he can get the BB/9 down around 3.0, he should be able to put together a pretty nice rookie season.

Although it took a little while, the offense finally clicked, like they had throughout the first two weeks of the season, against starter Robbie Ross and the Texas bullpen.

They first got on the board in the third when Jordan Danks roped a two-run home run off the facade in right field. It was his first of the season as he continues to impress with his all-around game.

After the Rangers tied it up in the fifth, the Sox fired right back with three runs to take a 5-2 lead. The inning was highlighted by Jose Abreu‘s fifth home run, a missile over the right-center field fence. His slump appears to be long gone.

From there on out the bullpen did their job pitching four scoreless innings and the offense really hit their stride.

The big hit that broke the game open came in the sixth when Marcus Semien drove one off the left field wall for a 3-RBI triple. Semien, who has struggled of late, looked great in this one going 4-for-6 with with four RBI.

Dayan Viciedo clubbed his first long ball of the year in the seventh, an oppo job that snuck over the wall. He went 3-for-5 with the homer and a double and raised his average to .321. He’s quietly putting together a nice season, looking much more patient and selective at the plate than we’ve grown used to over the first few years of his career.

After the Sox threatened but did not score in the eighth, they really laid it on in the ninth, sending 11 hitters to the plate and scoring seven runs. Many of the guys we already mentioned contributed to that outburst, including two doubles from Jose Abreu.

But we don’t want to leave anyone out … Tyler Flowers (3-for-4, BB), Conor Gillaspie (1-for-5, 3 RBI), and Alexei Ramirez (2-for-5, 2 runs) also had nice afternoons.

After a 1-2-3 ninth inning from Matt Lindstrom, the Sox won 16-2 thanks to their 18 hits and some sloppy play early from the Rangers. They’ll look to take this momentum into Detroit for what is shaping up to be a very tough four-game series.

Check out the game’s highlights, which were plentiful, by clicking here.

And now, go Bulls!

Zachary Gropper

About Zachary Gropper

Zach is the Managing Editor of, and you can follow him on Twitter @zmgrop.