Jordan Danks wasnt deceived one bit by Pat Nesheks funky delivery on Friday night.
The White Sox outfielder had not only faced Oaklands side-winding reliever several times at Triple-A the past two seasons, but he also got a well-timed refresher course from a televised game earlier in the week.
As Danks walked by a clubhouse TV, he recalled noticing Neshek on the mound and several of their showdowns came back to him in an instant.
Those previous encounters paid big dividends for Danks on Friday night when the rookie hit the first home run of his career with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Athletics in front of 25,041 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox hit four solo homers and got three scoreless innings from the bullpen to preserve a one-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.
I remembered whenever I was on deck trying to get the timing down, getting my foot down at a certain point because it is just an awkward delivery, Danks said.
Danks got his front foot down on the first pitch he saw from Neshek with two outs in the ninth inning and blasted away. The 417-foot home run was such a no-doubter that As right fielder Josh Reddick didnt move before he left the field.
The drive capped a night in which the White Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit.
It was his first home run and it couldnt have come at a better time for a better guy, said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who scored the White Sox first run with a solo homer in the second inning, his 22nd. It was a good win, obviously coming back. We fell down early and found a way to battle back.
Ditto for Gavin Floyd.
The right-hander allowed 11 runners to reach base in six-plus innings. Three of those runners scored in the first two innings, including a pair on Brandon Moss 412-foot homer to right to give Oakland a 3-0 lead.
But Floyd settled down and began to strand runners.
He left the bases loaded in the third inning when he struck out Brandon Inge, Floyds third strikeout of the inning. Floyd also stranded a runner in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, including Cliff Pennington in the sixth after he tripled with two outs.
Despite the early trouble, Floyd limited Oakland to three runs and seven hits.
He got to be more aggressive in the zone and was just sharper, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Some guys are just like that. I think he'll bust through it. He's got the stuff. He shows it in the middle of the games.
The White Sox showed theyre capable of production even without first baseman Paul Konerko, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list Friday with a concussion.
Ex-Sox pitcher Brandon McCarthy didnt afford the White Sox many opportunities.
But they rallied behind solo homers from Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.
Viciedo was mired in a 5-for-43 slump prior to his seventh-inning homer, his first since July 25.
Luckily we hit four home runs, Pierzynski said. Other than that we didnt do a whole lot offensively.
The White Sox only managed to get one other runner -- Alejandro De Aza who doubled in the third inning -- into scoring position against McCarthy.
McCarthy allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings.
You'd like to see a little more driving in a guy from second base and stuff like that, Ventura said. It's a nice win. You take it, but you want to see the offense do a little more.
Like Danks, who said he envisioned himself hitting a game-winning homer while he stood in the batters box. The rookie said it was the first game-winner of his entire career, dating back to Little League.
Its something that everybody dreams about their whole life, Danks said. Right before that I saw myself doing it and it was just one of those things. It was just awesome.