The White Sox snapped a 5-game losing streak behind the successful return to the rotation of Gavin Floyd (W, 8-8, 6IP, 6H, 2ER, 1BB, 2K) following a bout of elbow tendinitis. Floyd’s previous eight starts against the last-place Twins had gone for losses; tonight he had control over enough of his 99 pitches to suppress hitters and produce four double play grounders.
Feasting first on mistakes by Francisco Liriano (L, 3-10, 2.2 IP, 7H,1R, 2K) Pale Hose bats woke up with a start, hammering the ball just as hard as they hammered Liriano’s trade value in the eyes of scouts attending while the trade deadline approaches. Homers by Dunn and Rios were joined by Paul Konerko’s, whose first four-bagger since June was also his first opposite-field shot all year, decorating the right field stands and setting off enough fireworks to distract hundreds of drivers on the Dan Ryan expressway from their smartphones.
As usual, there was no room for complacency tonight in White Sox Nation; some venerable voices on Twitter were less than impressed with the outcome:
Is it too glass-half-empty of me to note that we really should be winning against these guys, the worst or almost worst in baseball?
— Skizzerbelle (@Skizzerbelle) July 24, 2012
Indeed, with the trade deadline approaching, pushing around the hapless Twins is less a cause for celebration than a basic requirement to avoid disaster. A struggle with the division’s basement dweller risks, some believe, turning the Sox into sellers. Yet, the nearly full house on Monday night is a signal that there’s room in Chicago for support of baseball with elevated on-field standards. It would take some spectacular ugliness in the coming days to lead the front office to second-guess itself.