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updated: 7/3/2011 12:10 AM

Pierre just happy to contribute for Sox

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Another day, another game-winning hit from Juan Pierre.

The White Sox' leadoff man came through for the third straight game Saturday against the Cubs, blooping an RBI single to left off Matt Garza in the sixth inning that decided the outcome.

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Sox starter Phil Humber and relief pitcher Matt Thornton made the run hold up.

"About 2-3 weeks ago I was leaving guys on and now I'm getting the hits," Pierre said. "Just battling."

Battling, yes. Basking, not so much.

Pierre took a beating from Sox fans and the media over the first three months of the season, so he's not taking the recent success for granted.

"For the team, great," Pierre said. "Me, it doesn't matter with me. But the team, we're playing good baseball and we're making strides, gaining ground."

Lefty is right:

With the White Sox' bullpen at less than 100 percent strength Saturday due to heavy work, Matt Thornton stepped up and pitched 2 perfect innings while earning his third save of the season.

Thornton had a miserable April, although some shaky defense proved costly, and he lost his closer's job to Sergio Santos.

But the big left-hander has rediscovered his all-star form from last season and has not allowed a run over his last 12⅔ innings.

"I was glad to get out of April, that's for sure," Thornton said. "That was pretty much what could go wrong went wrong.

"I wasn't throwing the ball well. I was just getting terrible results and hurting the team a lot, so it's about helping the team win games, and that's all I care about now."

Thornton is back to throwing occasional sliders, which has helped keep opposing hitters from sitting on his fastball.

"Just continue to believe in yourself," Thornton said. "Continue to go after the hitters and attack them. And making them put the ball in play, don't worry what happens behind you, whether it's a broken-bat hit, a mistake or misplayed ball or a ball gets hit hard, just continue to make pitches and attack them and put the ball in play."

In the neighborhood:

In the second inning Saturday, Carlos Pena led off with a bunt single for the Cubs and Alfonso Soriano followed with a groundball to Brent Morel.

The White Sox third baseman's throw to second baseman Gordon Beckham sailed a little wide, but umpire Paul Emmel called Pena out and Beckham turned the double play.

Cubs manager Mike Quade came out to argue the call and was ejected.

"It was a feed that was kind of up and away," Beckham said. "I've never turned a double play in my life that I've had my foot on the bag, so why not turn it?

"I don't know. It's a judgment call by the umpire, I guess. He felt I hung on long enough, and that's kind of the way I saw it. I didn't really think much of it."

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