Maybe it wasn't a case of the White Sox being really bad against the Royals over the weekend at U.S. Cellular Field.
Maybe it was a case of running into the wrong team at the wrong time.
Contact information ( * required )
Outscored by Kansas City 22-6 while losing three straight, the Sox were feeling their most intense heat of the season heading into Tuesday night's interleague game against the Giants.
Yes, they were completely outplayed, but the Royals are the hottest team in baseball, and they wake up this morning in first place in the AL Central after pounding the Tigers while running their winning streak to nine.
As for the White Sox, they are back in a better place after blowing out San Francisco 8-2 behind another strong start from John Danks and 2-run homers from Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo.
"We felt like we didn't have great at-bats over the weekend and just kind of gave away some outs," Beckham said. "So we just wanted to make sure we saw a few more pitches and when we got a chance to make it hurt, we've got to make it hurt. We did that tonight, so it's definitely a good night."
Trailing 2-0 following Hunter Pence's solo home run off Danks in the first inning and an unearned run in the third, it looked like the Sox were heading for their fifth straight loss before Beckham stepped in against San Francisco starter Matt Cain with one on and two out in the third inning.
Down in the count 0-2, Beckham worked it back to full, fouled off two pitches and then homered into the left-field seats to tie it.
"We're getting the at-bats we want and being able to cash in on them," manager Robin Ventura said. "Any time they fall in, it looks a lot better. But just the approach of them going up there and not giving in has been pretty good."
The White Sox' offense seemed to loosen up after Beckham's fifth homer of the year, and they broke the game open with 3 runs in the fourth inning and 3 more in the fifth.
"We got some runs, got back in the game, and then the other guys picked up the slack," Beckham said. "It was a fun game to be a part of."
Danks got 8 runs in his last start, against Justin Verlander and Detroit last week, and the Sox' offense came through again Tuesday. He is thankful for the impressive support, but Danks (6-5) continues to make a push for Comeback Player of the Year honors.
The left-hander pitched 6⅓ innings against the Giants and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits. In his last 5 starts, Danks is 3-1 with a 1.51 ERA.
"I think I'm just confident now," said Danks, who added he doesn't even think anymore about his 2012 shoulder surgery. "You get on a nice little run, it's a lot more fun to go out and pitch. Certainly, the adjustments we've made have helped and guys scoring runs have helped. I'm just going to continue to ride it."
If there was one blemish in the game, it came in the seventh inning when Jose Abreu struck out. The ball got away from Giants catcher Hector Sanchez and rolled to the backstop, but Abreu failed to run to first base.
When Abreu returned to the dugout, bench coach Mark Parent was waiting.
"Yeah, he'll be running," Ventura said after the game. "You talk to him. He'll run."