SAN FRANCISCO—Earlier this month, the White Sox were mired in a six-game losing streak, dealing with a blowup doll controversy and facing questions about their feeble offense.
Thanks to a successful West Coast road trip, those problems are fading quickly.
San Francisco completed a three-game sweep, extended their winning streak to five games and rebuilt the momentum they gained early in the season.
The Sox (23-20) tied their season high for runs, set a season high in hits with 15 and increased their lead in the American League Central to 11/2 games.
They finished 7-3 on their 10-game, three-city trip.
"That wasn't crazy, man," Nick Swisher said after hitting a three-run, pinch-hit double that snapped a 6-6 tie with two out in the eighth. "It was wonderful. It was great.
"Before we came on this trip, all I heard about was how the White Sox never really play well on the West Coast. I think we kind of turned that around a little bit.
"[This win] was huge. ... We got the home runs and big hits when we needed [them]. For us to go home, we are excited to sleep in our own beds."
The Sox will have the comfort of playing 31 of their next 44 games in Chicago and knowing their offense is capable of bailing out the pitching staff.
After getting no-hit for 41/3 innings by Giants starter Matt Cain, the Sox hit four homers to take a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Joe Crede snapped Cain's no-hit and shutout bid with a homer in the fifth, Orlando Cabrera hit home runs in his next two at-bats and Carlos Quentin regained the AL lead by hitting his 11th homer in the sixth.
"We hit the lottery with him," Guillen said of Quentin.
The Sox also think they've found their stride. Since losing six straight earlier this month—a skid that was accompanied by Guillen's tirade over the lack of patience by Chicago fans and media and the blowup doll controversy—the Sox have won nine of their last 13 games, concluding a stretch of 26 games in 27 days.
"They've handled it real well," Guillen said. "It seems like we started coming together, like we started getting a feeling about each other.
"I think we needed a road trip like this to make sure we could come together, learn how we're going to play the game better."
Said Cabrera: "Especially with a day off [Monday], it's good to come back and win a game like that. We feel fresh and have some good momentum."
The Sox's winning streak started after they had lost three straight against the Los Angeles Angels with struggles similar to their woes in Toronto.
"That shows you what kind of people we have," Guillen said. "It was funny because those problems off the field (in Toronto) can go either way. They can break a team, or they can put it together.
"I think what they did to us is they put it together and started believing in themselves."