With two wins in one day, Sox feel they're turning corner
Chicago improves to 8-9 with victories over KC
CHICAGO -- A quiet confidence permeated the White Sox clubhouse Sunday evening, the kind of low-key bravado that comes from claiming two wins in one day from the reigning American League champions.
It also should be noted that the Royals had won 15 of their last 18 games against the South Siders before Robin Ventura's crew captured a 3-2 victory in the resumption of Friday's suspended contest and then fought back for a 5-3 win in the regularly scheduled game. There was a reason for excitement coming from the 8-9 White Sox, who are slowly but surely starting to resemble the team many had imagined before the start of the 2015 season.
"We came to the ballpark to win two," said White Sox starter John Danks, who got the win in the nightcap. "And we got it done."
"Over the last five or six games we've played a really good brand of baseball," said White Sox reliever Zach Duke, who has made seven scoreless appearances in nine games, including Sunday. "Early on, you are kind of trying to feel each other out and see how you are going to figure out how to win games. I feel like we are starting to do that and playing our style."
That style Sunday featured an Avisail Garcia walk-off single against Kelvin Herrera to win the suspended game and then a five-run rally in the sixth to topple Edinson Volquez. The White Sox took advantage of a rare error by third baseman Mike Moustakas for four unearned runs in that frame, with Conor Gillaspie delivering a two-run, two-out, go-ahead single to right.
Add in a spectacular catch by Melky Cabrera in left to save at least one run in the eighth and David Robertson winning Game 1 and saving Game 2, and it was a pretty tidy afternoon of baseball for the White Sox.
"Everybody's continuing to grind and get through it," Ventura said. "I know it's not where everybody wants to be, but eventually it's going to get there.
"I like what our guys are doing and how they're going about it. They are supporting each other, all that kind of stuff you like to see."
The four-game series had a little bit of everything since the Royals got to town. There was a bench-clearing, bullpen-emptying fracas that produced six suspensions. There was rain Friday that produced a suspended game and rain Saturday that canceled the game. There also was a closer basically starting Sunday's success story and finishing the same.
One game below .500 certainly is not where the White Sox want to be. But to finish at 8-9 in this stretch of 17 straight games against the AL Central to start the season represents a step in the right direction.
"It's just the first month of the season," said Cabrera through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "And we are starting to play better and I think that we are getting better with every game, and I think that we will be very good at the end. Just keep working and see what happens in the end."