The White Sox's offense is beginning to thaw.
A.J. Pierzynski and Rob Mackowiak supplied the power Thursday night and Joe Crede took a big step toward breaking out of his slump with a tie-breaking single in the eighth inning as the Sox pulled away to a 6-4 victory over Texas.
Ozzie Guillen said after the Sox won consecutive games for the third time this season, one night after Mark Buehrle's no-hitter. "We still have a couple of guys trying to get there, but I have a lot of confidence in those guys. It seems like we're on a little bit of a roll, and hopefully we can keep it.
"The way we played and pitched, we should feel good about ourselves."
Crede, who entered the game in a 4-for-27 rut, had his second two-hit game of the year. His single off reliever Scott Feldman in the eighth scored Jermaine Dye, who started the winning rally with a double. Dye, who hit a grand slam Wednesday, is 8-for-26 after a 2-for-20 start.
Mackowiak, in his third start in left field in place of the injured Scott Podsednik, followed Crede by launching a two-run homer to right that extended the Sox's lead to 6-3. Mackowiak hit a single in the seventh to snap an out of an 0-for-8 rut.
"I see more life," Guillen said. "I see more guys rooting for each other, and they have more confidence."
Pierzynski, who entered the game with a .195 batting average and no home runs in his first 41 at-bats, ripped a three-run home run off nemesis Vicente Padilla in the fourth.
"The bottom line is we have a lot of talented hitters," said Jim Thome, who tied a personal and club record with five walks. "The great thing is when you have a lot of great hitters, we're going to pick each other up. Joe got a big hit, Mackowiak too. A.J. started it all. It was a group win."
Pierzynski's homer wiped out a 1-0 Rangers lead on Sammy Sosa's solo homer off Sox starter Javier Vazquez, the 592nd of Sosa's career.
The Rangers were determined not to let Thome beat them after he hit home runs in his two previous games.
Thome moved ahead of Tris Speaker for 26th place on the all-time walk list with 1,383. The five walks moved him into a share of the club record with Frank Thomas (against Boston on June 5, 1996) and Tony Muser (July 3, 1973 at Texas).
"When you're up there, you're not trying to walk," Thome said. "Just get good at-bats. We did a good job, especially with the momentum from last night and playing a very good offensive team."
The Sox had a .215 batting average and had scored two runs in their three games before scoring 12 in the consecutive victories.
Matt Thornton, the third of four Sox relievers, pitched a perfect eighth for his first victory. Bobby Jenks allowed a run in the ninth but received credit for his fourth save.
The Sox managed only four hits in 6 1/3 innings off Padilla, who had lost all three of his previous starts this season but had entered Thursday's game with a lifetime 3.86 ERA in four starts against the Sox.
Pierzynski tried to ignite the offense by drawing a one-out walk in the second. Crede followed with a drive to the gap in right-center field for his first extra-base hit, snapping a stretch of 49 at-bats without one.
Pierzynski tried to score all the way from first but was nailed on a perfect relay from right fielder Nelson Cruz to second baseman Ian Kinsler to catcher and former Sox minor-leaguer Chris Stewart.
White Sox 6, Rangers 4
Rally in 8th lifts White Sox over Rangers
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.