Josh Donaldson was fired up before Wednesday's game.
And because of Donaldson, the Chicago White Sox were fired up during it.
"I mean, we came out ready to play," White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease said.
The South Siders bashed the division-rival Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night, smacking six home runs in a 13-3 romp.
Even with the offensive explosion, though, all the attention remained focused on Donaldson, the Twins third baseman who spent a lengthy pregame media session responding to Lucas Giolito's comments from the night before, themselves a reaction to Donaldson's post-homer trash talk, which referenced "sticky stuff," in Tuesday night's game.
Giolito called Donaldson "a f---ing pest" and "classless," which according to Donaldson, spurred him to confront Giolito in the parking lot and oblige Giolito's wishes of having Donaldson "talk s--- to my face." Wednesday, Donaldson accused Giolito of cheating and even went after NBC Sports Chicago analyst Ozzie Guillén for comments he made on the postgame show.
It all made Donaldson the least popular man on the South Side, as the deafening boos that greeted his first-inning plate appearance indicated. Donaldson did the best he could to back up his talk, hitting a first-inning homer for the second straight night, this time off Cease.
But just like the night before, Donaldson's dinger wasn't enough to earn his team a win, and the White Sox — who have made a repeated point to say just how much they treat every game and every opponent the same — couldn't ignore the little extra juice that Donaldson provided Wednesday.
"It didn’t go unnoticed. It definitely fires you up," White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal, who hit two of those half dozen homers, said. "If anything, thanks to him for kind of getting us awakened a little bit."
"We heard about what happened. We talked about it," Cease said. "I think (it fueled us)."
White Sox manager Tony La Russa was a little less willing to ascribe Wednesday's success to Donaldson's influence, again saying that his team approaches every game in a way that could lead to a 13-3 pounding.
"You're definitely for your player. He's your family," La Russa said of the Giolito-Donaldson drama. "When we play, we get fired up to play. We don't need any extra incentive."
But whether in the stands or in the dugout, there was some extra enjoyment to each White Sox home run, each White Sox tally and especially the White Sox win thanks in part to what one member of the opposition did and said in the last two days.
While plenty are looking forward to Giolito's next showdown with Donaldson and the Twins, it might not come during next week's series between the two rivals in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Giolito is scheduled to pitch the day before that series starts, Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.
But that's not the last the White Sox will see of these Twins, with four games against them during the opening home stand of the second half and three more in early August.
So plenty more opportunities for the South Siders to get all fired up.