The White Sox didn't miss Paul Konerko in the first of several games without the slugger.
In fact, the Sox resurrected the productive offense that had been missing for most of the past week.
Led by an array of contributors Tuesday night, the Sox amassed season highs in runs and hits in a 16-5 humbling of Pittsburgh.
The 521st home run of Jim Thome's storied career, which moved him into a tie for 16th place on the all-time list with Willie McCovey and Ted Williams, punctuated the Sox's triumph.
Thome's homer was a three-run shot in the seventh inning and came after his teammates already had applied most of the damage.
"It's very special," Thome said. "You never imagine your name being thrown in with McCovey and Williams. It's pretty neat. It was a nice night. We scored a lot of runs. It made it even more special."
Nick Swisher reached base on all five plate appearances, Jermaine Dye, Joe Crede and Orlando Cabrera each hit home runs, and A.J. Pierzynski set the tone with a first-inning double that extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
The Sox (39-31) constantly applied pressure en route to a 19-hit attack while maintaining their 41/2-game lead in the American League Central.
"Hopefully, this is the week we explode and swing the bat the way we can swing the bat," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "The thing is, don't do it for one day."
Tuesday night's developments provided temporary relief over how the Sox would fare without Konerko while reviving an offense that had scored three runs or fewer in four of the previous five games.
Konerko was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his professional career because of a Grade 1 left oblique strain and will be out through at least the second Cubs series June 27-29.
Although Konerko is experiencing his worst first half since 2003, when he batted .197, the Sox are looking for his teammates to pick up the production that he has displayed since joining the Sox in 1999.
Dye hit a two-run double in the first and led off the third with his 15th homer. He has six doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 19 games.
Cabrera hit a two-run home run during a five-run seventh and hit a single and scored the Sox's final run on Carlos Quentin's sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Swisher, who will take over the first-base duties in Konerko's absence, drew two walks, hit two doubles and a single and is batting .387 in his last 10 games.
"We picked away," Thome said. "We got some guys on. We hit some home runs. All in all, offensively, we did a lot of good things. Early in the game, we drew some walks and Jermaine got a big hit. We did a lot of different things to help win tonight. You hope it's contagious and keeps going on."
DeWayne Wise, who was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte and will share the duties in center field with Brian Anderson, collected two hits.
The outburst was attained without a hit from the slumping Quentin, who drew three walks but went hitless in two at-bats. He fell to 1-for-16.
"I'm the last guy to talk to the players when they're struggling," Guillen said before the game.
"When they struggle, the only thing I can do to show them I have confidence in them is just to keep putting them in the lineup."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun