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posted: 9/4/2012 12:01 AM

Momentum swings back in favor of White Sox

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  • Gordon Beckham puts the White Sox in front to stay Monday night with his 2-run homer in the second inning.

      Gordon Beckham puts the White Sox in front to stay Monday night with his 2-run homer in the second inning.
    Associated Press

 
 

Let's get started with a quick game of name that quote:

"Unfortunately you can't win every day. You'd like to, the approach is to win every day, but you're going to go through highs and lows."

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And the answer is Paul Konerko? Robin Ventura? A.J. Pierzynski? Chris Sale?

Actually, that was battle-tested Derek Jeter after the first-place New York Yankees lost to Tampa Bay on Monday, reducing their lead over Baltimore to 1 game in the American League East.

It doesn't matter where you are contending in the AL at this point in the season, every race is tight and every game matters. Every pitch can spark a win or set up a loss.

The White Sox know all about stress, having lost three straight at Detroit over the weekend.

But you never know what's going to happen, and the Sox caught a big Labor Day break before even taking the field when Cleveland beat the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

The Sox followed up with a 4-2 victory over Minnesota on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field, so they are back on top of the AL Central by 1 game.

"During a season there are so many little momentum changes that happen," Konerko said after the White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak. "It's so easy we're all human beings it's very easy to get high or definitely get low when you have a weekend like we had.

"But that wasn't an easy game out there tonight either. We grinded it out right to the end and got the 'W' and Cleveland did us a favor in Detroit, which is not going to happen all the time.

"So we've got to play well and win some games because we had our chance with Detroit over the weekend and we didn't do anything with it.

"The only time we can worry about them is when we play them. Now we just have to take care of our business and assume (the Tigers) are going to play well because they're a good team and they're going to win their share of games."

The White Sox were a collective 2-for-27 with runners in scoring position while being swept by Detroit, but they got back to being clutch against the Twins while winning their eighth straight game at the Cell.

After Gordon Beckham gave the Sox the early lead with a 2-run homer off Minnesota starter Samuel Deduno in the second inning, Konerko came through with an RBI single with two outs in the seventh, and Beckham drove in a big insurance run with a two-out single in the eighth.

"Paulie came up with the big RBI to get us a little removed from them, but you know, we battled," Beckham said. "Last week was not good for us, but I'm glad we came back here, got home and started off with a win. I think it's a real positive thing."

Hector Santiago made his first major-league start and earned the win after pitching 5 innings and allowing 1 run on 3 hits.

"I knew what today meant," said the rookie left-hander, who opened the season as the White Sox' closer. "I knew it was a big game, especially after we lost. I had to just come out and be ready to give us a chance to win."

The Sox did win so the pressure is off until Tuesday.

"Hector did a great job," Ventura said. "You ask him to start and he's a guy that has gone from being a closer and being in the bullpen. He got sent down to stretch him out.

"This is a big one, the stretch that we were in, he came in, and you are asking him to stop a losing streak and he pitched a great game."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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