White Sox strike early, often vs. Yanks
Offense chases Burnett in fifth as Danks stymies Bombers
CHICAGO -- Rain in the Chicago area subsided in time for the White Sox and Yankees to take the field for their scheduled 3:10 p.m. CT start.
That didn't mean there wasn't a storm of sorts on the diamond. The White Sox offense made it pour, clubbing their way to a 14-4 victory against the Yankees on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, the South Siders' third straight victory in the series and the second consecutive game in which they reached double digits in hits.
"To come out today and get this win and put hits together, I feel like we were just running around the bases the whole game," White Sox shortstop Jayson Nix said. "It was fun."
Nix had plenty to do with that offensive output. He doubled and drew four walks, two with the bases loaded, out of the No. 9 slot. The four walks were the most by a White Sox player since Jim Thome walked five times on April 19, 2007.
"That's some serious discipline to do that," third baseman Gordon Beckham said.
Nix was one of six White Sox hitters to reach base on multiple occasions during Saturday's game, and most of the damage came from the top and bottom of the lineup.
Leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik reached base four times and matched his career high with four RBIs. Beckham, batting out of the No. 2 hole for the fourth time in his short career, set a career high with four RBIs. And Getz, hitting from the No. 8 spot, singled three times and scored twice.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was thrilled with the offensive output of his team.
"I always believe, every time we take the field, we'll get some runs on the board," Guillen said. "Our offense, it's been kind of a weird year, [an] up-and-down year. When we get cold, we're really cold, but when we're hot -- that happens when you've got the type of lineup we have.
"But I think a lot of things have to do with the kids in the top and the bottom of the lineup. It has to. Because those kids keep things going. When the big boys come to bat, the majority of the time, those kids are on base. That helps."
Chicago (54-51) now has scored 24 runs in its past two games, the first time it has produced double-digit runs in back-to-back games all season. The South Siders also have collected 30 hits in that span, with 17 coming on Saturday.
The White Sox went to work on Yankees starter A.J. Burnett in the bottom of the second, producing six runs as 10 batters came to the plate in front of 38,763 fans, the seventh sellout of the season at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago loaded the bases on three consecutive singles from A.J. Pierzynski, Carlos Quentin and Getz, bringing up Nix, who coaxed a full-count walk after falling behind, 1-2, to score Pierzynski for the first run of the game.
Podsednik followed with a bouncing-ball single through the right side of the infield, plating both Quentin and Getz for a 3-0 lead. On the second pitch he saw, Beckham lined a double off the right-field wall, as Nix and Podsednik came around to score for a 5-0 edge. Jermaine Dye followed by ripping a single into right, scoring Beckham for a 6-0 White Sox advantage.
In total, seven consecutive White Sox hitters reached base in the inning, six on base hits, to bust the contest open.
"They can hit, and you know they're going to be aggressive," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "Ozzie was aggressive when he played. They've been swinging the bats well [in this series], with the exception of the first day. They've been getting a lot of hits, and we haven't."
Burnett (10-5) lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits.
White Sox pitcher John Danks (9-7) earned the victory despite four walks, going six innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. He was outwardly upset in the dugout after exiting with nobody out in the seventh inning, allowing two baserunners to begin the frame, including a walk to Nick Swisher, his final hitter.
"My job was to stay out of the way, and it seemed like I was trying to hold us back there at times," Danks said. "Walking guys with a four-, five-, six-run lead, and really just not being super aggressive. Obviously, I wasn't trying to walk anyone. But in that situation, you've got to do everything you can to have them put the ball in play, and I just didn't do it. But hats off to these guys for going out there and scoring 14 runs."
In the eighth, the White Sox padded their lead by batting around yet again, producing another six-run inning, this time off Yankees reliever Phil Coke. By the time the inning ended, all 10 White Sox batters who made plate appearances had registered at least one base hit.
If there was one sore spot from Saturday's game, it came in the form of team captain Paul Konerko's early exit. Konerko was hit by a pitch in the right thigh in the fifth inning and left the game when the thigh stiffened up.
But even his injury wasn't serious enough to spoil what is turning into quite a week for the White Sox, who will attempt to sweep the Yankees (62-42) with ace Mark Buehrle on the hill for Sunday's series finale.
"[Konerko] was not in pain, but I say he doesn't have the pain because he was numb," Guillen said. "He's in the lineup tomorrow, unless something comes up tomorrow morning and he can't play. But he's in the lineup tomorrow."
Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.