After every start this season, Chris Sale has worked a new vocabulary word into his comments to the media.
On Wednesday, his choice was fitting.
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"We definitely repudiate anyone that says that we aren't in this," Sale said after the White Sox hung on to beat the Giants 7-6 at U.S. Cellular Field. "We think we have a good shot. We have a good group of guys. You go through ups and downs in a season, but like I said, we definitely repudiate any claims that we don't have a chance at this."
Repudiate means refuse to accept -- and it was a direct shot at all of critics who had the Sox buried after they lost three straight to the Royals over the weekend.
Full disclosure -- I thought the White Sox were headed for a downward spiral after being swept by Kansas City, but they showed otherwise by sweeping a two-game series from San Francisco (43-29), which has one of the best records in baseball.
The Sox (35-37) looked a lot like last year's team while dropping three straight to the Royals, but there is one important difference: they don't let losing streaks linger.
"Our guys, they're tough," manager Robin Ventura said before the White Sox hit the road for 11 games. "They just keep grinding. We know we didn't play well against K.C., but put it behind you and you keep going. The schedule keeps going and it doesn't stop. If you want to look in the rearview mirror and wallow on that, you're going to get beat a lot more. These guys seem to stay with it and grind it out."
The following Sox were really on their game against the Giants:
• Jose Abreu
True, he didn't run out a dropped third strike Tuesday night, but if that's the worst thing Abreu does all season, the White Sox will be thrilled.
On Wednesday, Abreu put the Sox in front in the first inning with a 2-run homer off S.F. starter Tim Hudson.
Abreu became the third-fastest player in history to hit 20 home runs, accomplishing the feat in 58 games. Wally Berger (51 games) and Mark McGwire (56) top the list.
"I never though of any record breaking or anything like that," Abreu said through a translator. "I was just concentrating on coming in and doing my job daily, and I'm fortunate enough that things have happened. I've continued to do the things to help the White Sox win."
• Adam Dunn
In the fifth inning, Dunn connected on a 3-run homer off Hudson, who entered the game leading the National League with a 1.81 ERA.
Dunn moved into a tie with Carl Yastrzemski for 35th place on the all-time home run list with 452.
"It's great," Dunn said. "I'm not going to downplay it by any means. But that's something when you retire, wherever you finish up is where you finish up. There's no use sitting back thinking about it right now. Those guys ahead of you have done some pretty cool things."
• Tyler Flowers
The beleaguered catcher snapped an 0-for-25 slump with a 2-run single in the fourth inning.
"That one hit's not going to make a difference at the end," Flower said. "It was a good time to do it but I've still got to find a consistency. Just try and build off that and see how consistent I can be again."
• Ronald Belisario
After Sale (6-1) pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 8 hits, a so-so start for the ace left-hander, the Giants rallied against Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam and Scott Downs.
Belisario came on with one out in the eight inning and nailed down a five-out save.
"He hadn't thrown in a while, so he was plenty strong enough to go out there and do it," Ventura said. "Just the way the game was going you felt like you wanted him to go through that part of the lineup."
• Alejandro De Aza
He struggled badly in April and May, but De Aza has come alive in June with a .333 batting average. The left fielder was 3-for-4 Wednesday and was a home run short of hitting for the cycle.