- 142 wins
- 110 wins
DENVER -- Juan Pierre certainly feels at home at Coors Field.The White Sox outfielder belted a two-run, 10th-inning single off the right-field wall that gave the White Sox a series-clinching victory, 6-4, over his former club on Thursday in front of 38,084. Pierre, who played for the Rockies from 2000-02, went 7-for-14 in the series, but no hit was bigger than Thursday's winning blast, which narrowly missed leaving the yard for a grand slam and completed a late comeback for the South Siders. "That's probably the longest single I've had," Pierre said. "I knew I hit it good, and knew with that high wall out there ... if I got it to the left maybe [I would have homered]. I was just so happy. I knew it was deep enough to score one run." Pierre has experienced a fair share of struggles during the first half of the season, but the support of manager Ozzie Guillen has never wavered. "When you work hard every day, you deserve to be out there," Guillen said. "You've earned that spot. He's one of the players we need the most. A lot of people talk about that guy, this guy, but the way I like to manage, I like to have more speed at the top." Though Pierre provided the game-winner, the White Sox weren't short on supporting acts, as they rallied to win their ninth straight Interleague road series. Key among the contributors was a bullpen that pitched four innings of scoreless baseball and gave up only one run the entire series. Colorado native Jesse Crain (4-2) recorded two outs in the ninth to earn the win and closer Sergio Santos struck out a pair in a perfect 10th to earn his 17th save of the season and his second in as many games. "The bullpen did a tremendous job for us all series, basically, to keep us in the game," Pierre said. "They held [the Rockies] down with the bases loaded a couple times, and just gave us a chance to win. When they do that, and we get the big hits, it's a good formula. Adding to the formula was a 3-for-3 performance from Gordon Beckham, who drove in a pair of runs and homered in the seventh off reliever Rafael Betancourt. With the White Sox trailing, 4-2, in the eighth, Alexei Ramirez started a one-out rally with a single, which was followed by base hits from pinch-hitting A.J. Pierzynski and Beckham, the latter scoring Ramirez. Pierre's sacrifice fly to left scored Pierzynski to tie the game, with all the damage coming against reliever Matt Lindstrom. Mark Teahen appeared to have connected on a go-ahead home run in the ninth off Rockies closer Huston Street, but left fielder Charlie Blackmon caught the ball against the wall to end the inning. White Sox starter Jake Peavy was mostly solid outside of the first inning, when singles by Jonathan Herrera and Todd Helton -- playing in his 2,000th career game -- preceded a three-run blast by Troy Tulowitzki, his 15th. The Colorado shortstop fouled of seven pitches before connecting on the 12th pitch of the at-bat. "You've got to give credit where credit is due," Peavy said. "Me, early in the game, I'm not going to walk people and try to compound the problem. He fouled off some good pitches. I made some good, good 3-2 pitches to him that he fouled off. I was hoping those pitches would get him out, they didn't, and he waited around for a pitch he could do some damage with." The Rockies didn't score off Peavy again until the sixth, when Matt Pagnozzi's single scored Seth Smith, who earlier doubled. Peavy retired the Rockies in order in three of his six innings of work. He surrendered seven hits, while striking out four against two walks (one intentional). The right-hander threw 71 of his 106 pitches for strikes. "I don't know if I'm back to feeling like I once did; I'm not that strong yet," Peavy said. "But I do feel healthy. That's something that I can't say I've felt since I've been here. I've always taken the mound with something nagging." Rockies starter Aaron Cook, who pitched six innings of five-hit, one-run ball, could best be described as effectively wild, as evidenced by his performance in the second inning. The right-hander issued three of his four walks in the frame and hit Ramirez, but the White Sox managed just one run when Alex Rios scored on a wild pitch. Cook, who relied on his heavy sinker, benefitted from two double plays, including one in the fifth that helped him escape a jam after Pierre led off with a single and Omar Vizquel followed with a walk. The White Sox, who open a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday, took advantage of a Rockies error in the 10th. After Ramirez doubled, Pierzynski reached on an infield single. Beckham put down a bunt that went straight to pitcher Clayton Mortensen, but the right-hander couldn't field it cleanly, allowing the visitors to load the bases. After Ramirez was forced out at home on a Paul Konerko grounder, Pierre stepped up to deliver the heroics. "We mishandled [the bunt], there's no question about that," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "You saw how many bunts got rolled out there, how many times bunt plays get worked on. You do it. You rehearse it. You put your players in a position where the element of surprise is taken out of the equation. But you have to execute the play."
Nick Kosmider is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.