Juan Pierre drove in the winning run in the ninth inning, and Phillip Humber kept the Toronto lineup at bay through seven innings as the Chicago White Sox earned a 3-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night at the Rogers Centre.
Former Blue Jay outfielder Alex Rios reached first base on a throwing error by Toronto third baseman John McDonald to leadoff the ninth inning, and moved to second base when the throw went into the Rogers Centre stands.
Blue Jay reliever Marc Rzepczynski struck out two White Sox in a row before hitting Gordon Beckham with a pitch to put him on first base. After Beckham stole second, it was up to Pierre to come up in the clutch. And did he ever.
Pierre hit a grounder to Blue Jay first baseman Juan Rivera, and beat pitcher Rzepcynski and the throw to first base to score Rios and give the White Sox a 2-1 lead. An error on the Toronto pitcher allowed Beckham to score, putting the game out of reach for the Blue Jays. Up until Pierre came through in the ninth, the White Sox were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The story for the first eight innings of the game was pitching, as both starting pitchers had strong outings. Toronto starter Brandon Morrow pitched seven strong innings for the Jays, allowing only four hits while striking out five. The only run against Morrow came in the fifth inning. After getting two quick outs, Morrow allowed back-to-back singles to A.J. Pierzynski and Omar Vizquel. Pierre came up to the plate and slapped a single through the right side of the infield, which scored Pierzynski and put the White Sox up 1-0.
Pierre finished the game going 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
White Sox starter Phillip Humber (3-3, 2.85 ERA) had just as strong as a start, scattering six Blue Jay hits through 7 2/3 innings. While he didn’t get the win, Humber struck out three Blue Jays, giving up only one earned run on a Yunel Escobar solo homerun in the sixth inning.
Reliever Jesse Crain (2-1, 2.31 ERA) only pitched one-third of an inning, but got the win for the White Sox, who have won 13 out of their last 19 games. Sergio Santos pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine tries.
The White Sox take on the Blue Jays again tomorrow from the Rogers Centre, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:07 p.m.