Let's put it this way: White Sox hitters had a very good month last week.
One week ago, Sox management was in crisis-control mode over manager Ozzie Guillen's harsh criticism of the offense.
When the week started, the Sox were hitting .247, had scored four runs in three games and held a one-game lead in the AL Central.
In the six games since, they have hit .351, scored 54 runs and increased baseball's biggest lead to 51/2 games after Sunday's 12-2 pounding of the Twins.
So, for the final time, was Guillen's Gripe a wake-up call heard by hitters?
"I just think it's a matter of ... it's not one thing, it's a few things," captain Paul Konerko said. "It's going to come no matter what a lot of times. Sometimes you need to nudge it, sometimes the weather heats up, sometimes the calendar turns to the next month."
Said outfielder Jermaine Dye: "We were due. Eventually we were going to break out. To come at a time like this, on a homestand and in our own division is [great]."
The numbers have become staggering, mind-blowing, near record-setting:
•The Sox have amassed 15 or more hits in three straight games for the first time since 1932.
•They have scored 10 runs or more in three straight games for the first time since July 2000 and for the first time ever against the Twins.
•And all this has come at U.S. Cellular Field, where they have won six straight games and 14 of their last 17.
"Hitting is contagious," Guillen said.
If so, then the Sox should be quarantined, because nearly the entire team has caught the fever.
Here are some more numbing numbers from the six-game homestand (with one left):
•Seventh-place hitter Nick Swisher has raised his batting average 20 points—to .221—with nine hits, including Sunday's three-run homer in the second inning that gave Gavin Floyd a 3-1 lead.
•Eighth-place hitter Joe Crede has raised his batting average 31 points by going 11-for-18 with five homers and 12 RBIs.
"I know that every time he hits a ball, it's cha-ching," Guillen said about Crede, an impending free agent. "The only thing about Joe Crede, I want his name in the lineup card in the World Series."
•Ninth-place hitter Alexei Ramirez upped his average 40 points by going 14-for-28.
•Cleanup hitter Konerko went up 11 points—to .216—by collecting seven hits, including four in the last two days.
"I think I'm more excited for Paulie," Guillen answered when asked about his lineup. "He's hard on himself. When Paulie's not swinging the bat well, he's not a happy camper."
Everyone is happy now, and that includes the pitching staff, and not just because they are getting run support. The Sox staff leads all of baseball with a 3.29 ERA.
Floyd ran his record to 7-3 Sunday with seven innings, striking out a career-high nine despite waiting out an hour and a half rain delay before taking the mound.
"Everything remains the same," Floyd said of working with a big lead. "You're still trying to get guys out. You try not to think about it and treat it like it's 0-0."
"They are pitching great, and now their hitting is starting to catch up with the pitching," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's a pretty good combo right there.
"They seem to be hitting just about everything we're throwing up there. We couldn't stop them. Maybe we wore them out there. We finally got them out for three straight innings."
WHITE SOX 12, TWINS 2
White Sox bats pound Twins for 3rd straight game
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