BOSTON -- After singling off the Green Monster in Tuesday's 10-7 victory and doubling off the wall against Tim Wakefield on Wednesday, Brent Lillibridge came up with his first Fenway Park home run leading off the sixth in a 7-4 victory.
"This is a fun place to play, and I took advantage of the short wall," said Lillibridge, who is now hitting .308 and has six homers. "[I] got the head out a couple times [and was] being aggressive."
Lillibridge got the start in center field, but he finished the game in right. Manager Ozzie Guillen credits Lillibridge and hitting coach Greg Walker for his offensive improvement.
White Sox plan on sticking with six-man staff
BOSTON -- The White Sox announced their starting pitchers for the upcoming home series against the Tigers and Mariners, and the alignment shows their six-man rotation lives on.
Mark Buehrle opens the three-game weekend set at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday against the Tigers, followed by Edwin Jackson and Jake Peavy. John Danks gets the call Monday against the Mariners, with manager Ozzie Guillen simply wanting to give a healthy Danks the extra day of rest behind Peavy, followed by Philip Humber and Gavin Floyd.
Humber has made the White Sox decision to move away from the six-man a difficult one. The right-hander has more recent relief experience, but he also has been the team's most consistent starter.
Guillen indicated during Wednesday's pregame interview session at Fenway Park how the six-man rotation would stick at least one more turn. But in that same talk with reporters, Guillen mentioned how the six-man rotation could last through the All-Star break.
"Well, it's kind of funny, after the All-Star break, we have a lot of days -- maybe 12 days with guys without pitching. Then it changes a little bit," Guillen said. "Before the All-Star break, I want those guys to catch up and breathe for the long stretch.
"Now we have that six-man [rotation], then boom, we go into the All-Star break and we have to figure out to go five or six. In the beginning, we should go with five, because some guys will be spending 10 days without pitching. Obviously they'll be in the bullpen and throwing on the side and stuff, but it's not the same."
White Sox starters have not complained about the schedule alteration, with Guillen joking about the alternative being moving a potential disgruntled hurler to relief. Guillen added how he's open to hearing comments from the pitchers, as is pitching coach Don Cooper, but it was Peavy who told MLB.com on Tuesday how this early rest could give the Chicago rotation a late-season freshness advantage.
"Only time will tell," Buehrle said. "But last year, getting pushed back a couple starts, I felt stronger later in the season than I have in previous years.
"I joked that if we'd actually throw on five days' rest, it might seem like short rest instead of normal time. Some days you feel better on day four than day five, and sometimes better on day six. It's just really a week by week case."
Beckham feeling no pain in eyes
BOSTON -- Gordon Beckham now has two black eyes as a result of taking an Alex Rios relay throw just below his left eye during Friday's game at Rogers Centre.
"It has kind of trickled over," said Beckham with a laugh.
Beckham returned to the lineup Monday after missing two games and went 5-for-13 in Boston, after finishing up May with a .303 average, up from .194 in April. The White Sox second baseman isn't bothered by the results of the freak accident and didn't really fear the worst when it first happened.
"Right after it happened, I was trying to open my eyes when I was walking off the field, and I could just barely," Beckham said. "I was like, 'I think I'm OK.' I didn't think much of it. I wasn't too worried.
"It's still sore, but it didn't affect me at all. The only thing I was a little worried about was running and jarring it a little bit. But it was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary."
Chicago not counting out last-place Twins
BOSTON -- Entering Wednesday's action, the Minnesota Twins had the worst record in Major League Baseball at 17-36. Their 15 1/2-game deficit behind Cleveland in the American League Central is the largest chasm faced by any team, and Minnesota needed to make up 6 1/2 games simply to catch the fourth-place Royals.
Yet, the White Sox refuse to overlook a team that has put forth miraculous second-half comebacks to knock the South Siders out of the playoffs.
"If it was a different team in their spot, you could kind of say, 'I don't like their chances' and write them off," starter Mark Buehrle said. "But with them, maybe the last month or two, if they are 20 games out, then you might put them on the backburner.
"Until they get eliminated, that team always scares me."
Manager Ozzie Guillen pointed to the injury problems currently besetting Ron Gardenhire's crew as a reason for some of Minnesota's issues, but Guillen added the Twins have the potential to easily run off 10 or 12 wins in a row. Guillen quickly added how the White Sox focus should not be on anyone else.
"We have to worry about the White Sox," Guillen said. "Everybody in our division has a good ballclub and they are going to compete."