The White Sox's perseverance paid off Thursday, but their depth could be put to the test this weekend.
Thanks to newcomers Geoff Blum and Bobby Jenks, the Sox pulled out a zany 2-1 victory over American League Central rival Minnesota in 10 innings.
But they could lose third baseman Joe Crede for an indefinite period, pending Friday's results of X-rays on his right middle finger.
Crede, who has been exceptional in the field while struggling at the plate, suffered the injury while attempting a sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning.
Manager Ozzie Guillen immediately called general manager Ken Williams after the game to discuss options in the event Crede is placed on the 15-day disabled list.
"It's numb right nowI can't feel it," Crede said after the game as he soaked his swollen finger in a cup of ice water.
In the meantime, the Sox will opt for Blum and Pablo Ozuna, each of whom contributed after the Sox blew a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth on a bizarre sequence of defensive mishaps by first baseman Paul Konerko.
Blum led off the 10th with a double. After Crede fouled a pitch off his hand and had to come out of the game, Ozuna replaced him and laid down a two-strike bunt toward the mound.
Reliever Jesse Crain threw to third in plenty of time, but Blum delayed his slide long enough to elude third baseman Luis Rodriguez's swipe tag and reach third safely.
"I just hesitated and snuck behind him," Blum said.
Timo Perez then came through with a single to score Blum with the winning run.
"We had a big-time chip on our shoulder in that inning," said Konerko, who drove in his 80th run in the third. "Blum made it happen."
Jenks, 24, was greeted with a postgame beer shower from his teammates after earning his first major-league save in impressive style. Jenks battled Jason Bartlett on an 11-pitch at-bat in which Bartlett fouled off five consecutive pitches before striking out on an 86-m.p.h. breaking pitch.
Jenks, whose fastball has been clocked at 101 m.p.h., fooled Lew Ford on another 86-m.p.h. breaking pitch to end the game and give the Sox a 2-1 edge in the series after the Twins swept them in Chicago last week.
"I wasn't nervous at all," Jenks insisted. "I just threw like it was the fourth or fifth inning."
Jenks, recalled from Double-A Birmingham on July 5, was called upon after Dustin Hermanson was charged with a blown save on a strange sequence with two outs in the ninth.
With Rodriguez on first, Konerko made a diving attempt to grab a liner off the bat of Michael Ryan near the first-base bag, but the ball glanced off his glove and rolled toward the Sox's bullpen.
First-base umpire Marty Foster immediately signaled that the ball was fair, to Konerko's astonishment.
The Sox had plenty of time to nail Rodriguez, who was trying to score all the way from first, but Konerko dropped Blum's relay throw, allowing Rodriguez to get home with the tying run. The Sox argued that Konerko touched Ryan's drive in foul territory.
"I thought [Rodriguez] was a lot closer to home when Blum threw it," Konerko said. "When it came to me, I tried to hurry as quickly as I could."
The run cost Jon Garland his 17th victory; Garland left after working 72/3 scoreless innings. Sox starting pitchers have put up a 1.81 ERA over their last six games.
"I'm not complaining about any type of win," Konerko said. "No one in this clubhouse should complain with any win we get or how we get it. That's it."
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