SEATTLE -- Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria was quick to pour water on the idea that there might be a pattern of his team putting up bunches of runs in the first inning. Coincidence? Maybe. But as long as it leads to wins, he'll take it.The White Sox scored
SEATTLE -- Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria was quick to pour water on the idea that there might be a pattern of his team putting up bunches of runs in the first inning. Coincidence? Maybe. But as long as it leads to wins, he'll take it.
The White Sox scored five first-inning runs to defeat the Seattle Mariners, 8-1, on Sunday to win their third straight game. That rally in the first inning marked the team's biggest output in the opening frame this season.
That came after Saturday's 16-1 victory, which began with the White Sox scoring four runs in the first inning -- which at the time had been their biggest first inning of the season.
Prior to this series, the White Sox hadn't scored more than three runs in the first inning this season. Now they've bettered that twice in two days.
On Sunday, Mariners starter Chris Heston walked three of the first five Chicago hitters before the White Sox started chipping away for real. Yolmer Sanchez followed with a two-run single and Tim Anderson, Matt Davidson and Kevan Smith added RBI singles, all with two outs.
The singles by Anderson and Smith never even left the infield.
"I think that we just had some really good at-bats early," Renteria said. "We took advantage of maybe some wildness. We were able to continue to have that running through. You need to have a knock here and there to kind of keep the runs coming across. Fortunately for us today and yesterday, it's been going well."
Already, that was a big difference from Saturday's first-inning show, when Jose Abreu started with an RBI double and Avisail Garcia followed with a three-run homer.
Sunday was more like a death of 1,000 cuts. But as with Saturday, it began with a walk -- several, in Sunday's case -- and Renteria will take that every time.
"I think they got in a situation early in the game [with a pitcher] who wasn't commanding the zone," he said. "And then, when they were swinging, they were getting balls they could put in play."
On Saturday, White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey said the big lead at the start helped him attack the Mariners' lineup. But a day later, a big lead was the last thing Derek Holland wanted to think about.
"To be honest, you've got to keep yourself focused," Holland said. "Even though we put up five, I've got to treat it like it's 0-0. My job is to make sure to shut the momentum down. We had that momentum; I don't want to do anything to let them back into it. I was taking care of business with that and keeping the momentum on our side."
Just don't count on these sorts of things, as Renteria pointed out.
"We'll continue to have to scrap and push," he said. "This isn't an everyday occurrence, obviously. It happened back to back, but it's not an everyday occurrence and we still have to play the game."
Rob Shore is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Sunday.