White Sox ride balk to victory in KC
Quentin homers twice, scores winning run on pitcher's miscue
KANSAS CITY -- If one of Ozzie Guillen's players punches another, then there's a problem. The little argument that broke out in Wednesday's 7-6 comeback victory over the Royals, however, was just fine.
Jermaine Dye and Orlando Cabrera jawed in the dugout in the eighth inning after Cabrera scored the tying run. Dye wasn't happy with Cabrera because he was jumping back and forth while he led off second base during Dye's at-bat.
Guillen and Dye both called it a misunderstanding, and Guillen certainly wasn't complaining that the incident took place.
"I don't want good guys," Guillen said. "I want winners. Good guys finish last."
Guillen talked with all his players in the clubhouse. He said Dye and Cabrera hugged in the dugout after they exchanged words and again after the game.
"I like that, because I don't see guys saying stuff behind guys' backs," Guillen said. "You want to say something, say it right away, and we'll find a way to settle everything down. I don't like when players create a whisper thing in the clubhouse and try to be enemies. When you [are] a man, you say what you feel and you move on."
It appears that was what Chicago did. Soon after Dye and Cabrera's "misunderstanding," Carlos Quentin scored the game-winning run.
He had already hit two home runs, but this play was much easier, as Quentin trotted home after Royals' reliever Ramon Ramirez was charged with a balk.
Quentin's run completed a comeback from a 5-0 deficit, Chicago's second comeback in as many games against the Royals. On Tuesday, the White Sox trailed, 4-1, before winning in extra innings.
"We've shown a lot of fight the entire year," Quentin said. "The energy level has been good, day in and day out. That's one thing that Ozzie has really stressed to the team."
Quentin pulled the White Sox out of their early deficit. He had faced Royals starter Brian Bannister during college, when Quentin played at Stanford and Bannister at Southern California. Quentin didn't remember hitting any home runs against Bannister back then, but he hit some good ones on Wednesday.
In the fourth, he knocked Bannister's pitch Bannister's pitch over the left-center-field wall with Nick Swisher on base to get the White Sox on the board. He hit another in almost the same exact spot in the sixth with Swisher on base yet again to bring the score to 6-4.
"I've faced him for years now," Bannister said. "He used to stand very upright, almost Griffey-esque, as a right-handed hitter. He's completely different now. I know he's been giving a lot of pitchers fits lately and we struggled with him up at their place. It's almost an optical illusion, because you throw the ball down and it's almost where he's looking for it."
Chicago fell into an early hole, as Javier Vazquez struggled through five-plus innings, giving up six runs in the first four innings.
The White Sox have allowed six or more runs in four of their last five games.
"The pitching staff did a great job the first half, but they can't hold up the whole year," Dye said. "We've got to find ways to win, whatever way we do it. And lately we've been doing it."
Octavio Dotel struck out the side in the ninth for his first save of the year. After Dotel wrapped up the game, Guillen addressed his team about the words spoken between Dye and Cabrera.
It's not the first time this season Cabrera has made news. In late May, it was reported that Cabrera twice made calls to get errors charged to him rescored.
Guillen and Cabrera insisted that ordeal meant nothing, just like Guillen and Dye did with Wednesday's disagreement. Cabrera was not available for comment.
The scene did nothing to sabotage the White Sox effort on Wednesday, and on a team where Guillen constantly stresses intensity and fight, arguments are bound to happen.
"The dynamic for this team is good in the sense that we're pretty open," Quentin said. "Everybody can talk to each other. I feel like something like that, this team will get through [it] and not give a second thought. It's just a sign that we can talk to each other and call each other out in a good way."
Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.