Nothing, it seems, can slow down these White Sox.
Every starting pitcher not named Chris Sale can get whacked around early and it doesn't matter.
Contact information ( * required )
A team like the Mariners can overcome a 7-2 deficit in the top of the ninth inning and rally back to take an 8-7 lead, which they did Friday night. No big deal.
On Saturday night, Sox starter Jose Quintana barely made it out of the first inning and catcher A.J. Pierzynski and manager Robin Ventura received back-to-back ejections from home-plate umpire Lance Barrett in the third.
Not a problem.
"These guys are great," bench coach Mark Parent said after taking over for Ventura and piloting the White Sox to a 5-4 win over Seattle at U.S. Cellular Field. "They just come out ready to play every day and if we're down, they don't really care. We'll fight back. I don't think we've been blown out that much and every game seems to be one run either way. We just keep pushing and stay aggressive."
And the Sox (70-55) keep winning.
They are now 15 games over .500 for the first time all season and are riding a five-game winning streak. They're also won 20 of their last 25 home games.
Pierzynski and Ventura had to watch the latest victory from the clubhouse.
With Justin Smoak batting for the Mariners in the top of the third inning, Quintana's first pitch clearly appeared to be a strike.
Barrett called it a ball, and Pierzynski apparently said something to the umpire because he was immediately ejected.
"You know when you have an argument over what kind of pizza is better, deep dish or thin crust, it usually leads to an ejection," Pierzynski cracked. "He said thin crust and I said deep dish, so he didn't like the answer he got, I guess."
Pierzynski was able to laugh after the game, but he was steaming before making an early exit.
Ventura came out to protect his catcher and also was tossed.
But the White Sox' typically calm and cool manager was also fired up, first with Barrett and later with crew chief Jim Joyce.
"You have A.J. out there and your guy gets thrown out," Ventura said after his third ejection as Sox manager. "You're out there protecting him. I didn't think I was that mad. It's just part of baseball. It's what you do."
Ventura made some brief contact with Joyce -- and vice versa -- so a suspension could be coming.
As for the rest of the game, Quintana settled down and the White Sox rallied back from a 3-0 deficit while maintaining their 2½-game lead over the second-place Tigers.
Tyler Flowers, who replaced Pierzynski, tied the game at 3-3 with a solo home run in the sixth inning and also reached on a bunt single in the eighth, which helped score the eventual winning run.
Did the ejections help spark the Sox?
"There were some tough calls before that (third inning), so the energy was definitely high in the dugout," Flowers said. "It seemed like it wasn't really going in our direction. It's a little spark but at the same time, we had the spark from before the game. These are big games right now, especially against a gritty team against Seattle that comes out swinging and you never know.
"Maybe it helped. Maybe it didn't. But we got the win."