If this is the last summer of A.J. in a White Sox uniform, enjoy the show.
If A.J. Pierzynski avoids impending free agency by signing a new contract with the Sox and extends his entertaining run on the South Side -- hello, general manager Kenny Williams -- even better.
Pierzynski is just a remarkable baseball player, and he continued to show why Sunday during the Sox' 7-3 win over the Oakland A's at U.S. Cellular Field.
"You always could be better just because you always can look back and say, 'If I would have done this or that,'" Pierzynski said. "But at the end of the day, you try to do the best you can at that time."
Pierzynski was really good, again, as the Sox took two of three from the A's while moving 2 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
In Friday night's 4-3 win over Oakland, Pierzynski's solo home run helped rally the White Sox from a 3-0 deficit.
The 35-year-old catcher was 2-for-5 in Saturday's 9-7 loss, and his RBI single in the seventh inning put the Sox ahead 7-6. He also put some serious fear into Oakland's Jemile Weeks with a hard slide into second base trying to break up a double play.
Pierzynski somehow saved his best work against the A's for last, hitting a 2-run homer in the sixth inning Sunday that snapped a 1-1 tie.
Then, he again showed why there is no smarter player in baseball.
After leading off the seventh inning with a single, Pierzynski scored all the way from first base on Alexei Ramirez's groundout.
"He's in every game," said Sox starter Chris Sale. "He knows the game so well. In that seventh inning he was at first base, then second base, third base and he scores. That's just him. That's being heads up in that situation. Having your eyes open, head up."
Ramirez grounded to Oakland shortstop Cliff Pennington, who collided with third baseman Adam Rosales before throwing to first baseman Chris Carter for the out.
At the same time, A's catcher Derek Norris ran out to cover third.
"As soon as I hit second (base), I saw Pennington and Rosales, they kind of both ran into each other," Pierzynski said. "I figured I would try for third with one out. When I looked up, I saw that Norris was kind of in no man's land between third and Carter was standing on first. So I figured I'd try and luckily it worked out."
There was nothing lucky about it. Whether it's Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series or an important game in August, Pierzynski always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else.
"They're going to give you something, you're going to go ahead and take it," manager Robin Ventura said. "A.J.'s heads up."
Sale (14-3) left a lot of Oakland hitters walking back to the dugout with their heads hung down while pitching 6 innings and striking out 11. The revitalized lefty allowed only 2 runs -- solo homers by Jonny Gomes and Rosales.
"I guess you could say I was a little wild there at the beginning," Sale said. "I felt like I had a good feel for my slider today. A.J was behind the plate working for me, calling some great pitches and he really got me through that game."
Sale twisted his left knee trying to feel a Pennington groundball in the fifth inning, but he came out of it in good shape.
"Everything was fine," Sale said. "It was just something crazy ... my foot went one way and my knee went the other. I was kind of nervous at first and once I got around and moving on it, everything was fine."