Jose Abreu set the tone in April, and his new White Sox teammates started following behind and contributing to one comeback win after another. Even in defeat, the Sox found ways to make it interesting.
Abreu is still on the disabled list with a bad left ankle, but the Sox keep pulling together and different faces continue to step up.
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In Wednesday night's 3-2 win over the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field, two of the most unlikely White Sox players emerged as heroes.
Hector Noesi opened the season with the Seattle Mariners, was sold to the Texas Rangers for cash on April 12 and was claimed off waivers by the Sox on April 25.
Moved from the bullpen to the rotation on April 30, Noesi pitched 7⅓ solid innings against Cleveland, allowing 1 run on 5 hits. The right-hander didn't walk a batter and had 5 strikeouts.
"That's what I want, that's what I'm working hard for, (going) deeper," Noesi said. "I want to throw a complete game and maybe it's going to take a few weeks, but I'm trying to get that and go deeper every time."
Another waiver claim, right fielder Moises Sierra, singled off reliever Bryan Shaw with one out in the ninth inning to score Leury Garcia from third base with the decisive run as the White Sox (28-27) completed a three-game sweep of the Indians.
"I feel very happy," Sierra said through an interpreter. "I feel very thankful to God to get the opportunity to contribute to the team and help them win. That's a great thing today. I've done that in the minor leagues before but never in the major leagues and I'm very happy and very thankful for that."
Getting key contributions from different regulars is one thing. Getting them from players released by other teams is rather unusual.
"To win games, you like to talk about different people every night because it takes whole roster to be able to do it," manager Robin Ventura said. "With the injuries and things the happened to us early, waiver claims are doing that. We went out and you start getting guys and bringing them in, and these guys have been a good fit so far."
Noesi was an odd claim, considering he pitched 1 inning of relief against the Sox on April 20 and allowed 7 runs before being released by Texas.
But the right-hander has turned the corner as a starter with the White Sox, and 3 of his last 4 starts have been quality.
"When he first got here he was in the bullpen," Ventura said. "He's really transitioned well from going as the long guy in the bullpen to being a starter. I think he's gotten a better feel for some different pitches just because now he's going through the lineup a couple times and he's able to get a feel for it instead of being in there for an inning or an inning and a half. He's progressed fairly well as far as the strength and endurance of being a starter."
Closer Ronald Belisario took a line drive off the right hip from Jeff Brantley to open the ninth inning and the Indians rallied to tie the game at 2-2, but Sierra came through with the Sox' sixth game-ending hit of the season in the bottom of the ninth.