By Paul LaTour
Look up and down the White Sox lineup and youll find somebody who has made a recent contribution with his bat. Thats how well they have been hitting as of late.
There are the obvious ones, of course. Paul Konerko leads the American League with a .381 batting average. Adam Dunn already has 15 home runs, four more than all of last season. A.J. Pierzynski is hitting .472 with three doubles, a triple, three home runs, 10 RBI and eight runs scored in his last nine games.
Beyond those three, Chicago is getting remarkable production from Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza. Viciedo has raised his average from .196 to .252 over the past 11 games, which includes hitting six home runs and 13 RBI while batting .390.
De Aza, who is hitting .326 with 17 runs scored in May, contributed his first career grand slam in Thursdays 11-8 victory over Minnesota.
Overall, the Sox bats have been on a torrid pace the past 11 games. In addition to 24 home runs and scoring more than six runs per game, Chicago hitters are batting .289 collectively.
Eventually it was going to get there, manager Robin Ventura said prior to Saturdays game against Cleveland at U.S. Cellular Field. Its nice. It compliments the pitching and the defense. Once everybody gets going, you feel confident going through that lineup that when you get a couple guys on they are going to knock them in.
The home run explosion has been impressive. The Sox have hit at least one home run in each of their last 11 games, their longest stretch since June 1-12 last season.
You cant go up there trying to hit home runs, but you can try to put good swings on the ball, and if the ball goes out it goes out, Pierzynski said after Friday nights 9-3 victory in the series opener against Cleveland in which the Sox homered three times.
Pierzynski, whose average has gone from .257 to .309 in his last nine games, has already matched his home run total from last season. He now has eight home runs, including one Friday, and 31 RBI.
Hes got more power than you initially look at and see, Ventura said. Hes a big guy. Hes been getting in a good position to hit, and if he hits it, its going to go. I dont know if theres a reason for it, but he looks good at the plate. Hes been consistent, too.
For some perspective on how good the offense has been during this 11-game stretch, Chicago ranks first among the league leaders in four categories, and is top five in two others.
The Sox lead in home runs, slugging percentage, runs per game and runs scored. They are third in average and fifth in extra-base hits.