Gordon Beckham's late homer lifts White Sox over Cubs

Gordon Beckham's late homer lifts White Sox over Cubs
May 6, 2014, 11:30 pm
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If the White Sox keep this up they may want to invite Wilson Phillips for a postgame concert.

A day after the pop group’s “Hold On” blared over the speakers after a late victory, a sort of rallying cry for the injury-depleted club, the White Sox found yet another way to win on Tuesday night.

Gordon Beckham’s eighth-inning solo home run highlighted a four-hit day and the White Sox have their first winning streak of the season after a 5-1 victory over the Cubs in front of 34,305 at Wrigley Field.

[MORE: Hector Noesi earns another shot with the White Sox]

Newcomer Moises Sierra also had four hits and Hector Noesi and three relievers combined on a four-hitter as the White Sox reached the .500 mark with their third straight win.

After two victories over the North Siders at the Friendly Confines, the series shifts to U.S. Cellular Field for two more games starting Wednesday night.

“What’s great about it is it’s a different guy,” said Adam Dunn, a late scratch from the lineup with a bruised right calf. “Tonight it was Gordon and Sierra and last night was (Marcus) Semien. It seems like every night it’s somebody new. That’s pretty good to have in your lineup.”

[RELATED: Sierra strives for consistency with White Sox]

While the focus has surrounded first baseman Jose Abreu, plenty of other players in the White Sox lineup have delivered big hits all season.

Part of that has been out of necessity because of injuries.

Beckham, who rejoined the club 12 days ago after Conor Gillaspie went on the 15-day disabled list, is the latest to produce in the clutch.

[ALSO: White Sox bullpen does a 180 from early-season struggles]

It couldn’t have come at a better time for the second baseman or his team.

Beckham was out of action from mid-March with a left oblique strain and suffered a setback in April 3 at Double-A Birmingham. After returning 10 days later, his bat has been slow to recover, though Beckham has said he’s not far off.

Several hours later Beckham capped off his best performance of the season with a go-ahead homer off Cubs reliever Neil Ramirez in the eighth inning. Beckham, who singled in his first three at-bats, tied his career-high for hits when he ripped a 1-2 slider from Ramirez into the left-field bleachers to break a 1-all tie.

[MORE: White Sox not worried stardom will change Jose Abreu]

The White Sox added three more runs in the ninth inning on an RBI double by Tyler Flowers and a two-run double by Jordan Danks.

Sierra, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto on Saturday after a 2-for-34 start, jump-started the ninth-inning rally with a single to finish 4-for-4.

“You just kind of have to find your way sometimes and scratch and claw and take what you can get,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “They’ve been doing that, which is good.”

Including his minor-league numbers, Beckham entered Tuesday with a .165/.228/.247 slash line and a homer and seven RBIs in 92 plate appearances this season.

[RELATED: Calf bruise scratches Dunn from White Sox lineup]

But Beckham looked good from the outset.

He singled sharply into the hole into left field for a one-out single in the first inning off Cubs starter Edwin Jackson, who had a superb effort.

Beckham then sharply singled to center field to start the fourth inning. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on Alexei Ramirez’s RBI fielder’s choice to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

Two innings later, Beckham had a one-out single and moved to second on another wild pitch. But Jackson, who whiffed nine over seven innings, struck out Abreu and Dayan Viciedo to strand Beckham in scoring position.

“I got a better feel today,” said Beckham, who went 4-for-5. “I mean it was bound to happen. I was bound to get more than -- do better than like 1-for-6 or so. I wasn't panicked. It was one of those things. I've kind of been here before, so just had a good game. Glad I happened to do it.”

The production from Beckham and Sierra, who was added to the lineup after Dunn was scratched, was much needed for an offense running low on fuel.

Dunn became the latest White Sox player saddled with an injury. The team already has seven players on the disabled list, including Gillaspie and outfielders Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia, all of whom were in the Opening Day lineup. Dunn did pinch hit in the eighth inning and expects to play Wednesday.

The late outpouring made another strong effort by the White Sox bullpen hold up.

Noesi, who began as a reliever but has been transitioned into a starter, allowed a run and four hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Zach Putnam (1-0) retired all six batters he faced, including two strikeouts. Scott Downs struck out two in an inning before Daniel Webb closed it out.

“We need to keep, no matter who it is, keep grinding out and getting some wins,” Beckham said. “Last three games has been good. We've found a way to win in some tight games and obviously pulled a bit today, but it's good team-building stuff.”