Is it the glasses? Flowers powers White Sox to victory

Is it the glasses? Flowers powers White Sox to victory
August 4, 2014, 12:00 am
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He contends his success has had nothing to do with a recent choice to wear glasses but Tyler Flowers isn’t about to stop wearing them, either.

The catcher had a game-tying home run and a go-ahead single late in a 5-3 rain-shortened White Sox victory over the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field.

Flowers, whose recent hot streak coincided with the choice to wear glasses over contacts, went 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs to lift the White Sox to victory in 6 1/2 innings. His two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth broke a 3-all tie just a few minutes before the game was halted by rain for good.

“Zilch,” Flowers said when asked about the effect of his spectacles. “I don’t even notice them. I’m not an idiot -- I’m going to keep wearing them. I’m doing well, so I’m going to stick with them.”

“I’m going to listen to the doctors and wear (contacts or glasses), but I don’t think it’s relevant to success or failure.”

The numbers paint a different picture.

But the catcher said the improvements since July 9 -- the day he first wore the sport glasses -- happened to come at a time he began to get comfortable with technical adjustments in his swing.

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Flowers has been very secure since and the White Sox have benefitted.

They came back from an early three-run deficit, first with a dash of Jose Abreu and then a heaping of Flowers.

Abreu singled in two runs off Rangers starter Nick Martinez in the third to cut the deficit to 3-2. Flowers, who tripled with one out, and Adam Eaton, who reached base four times, scored on the single.

Two innings later, Flowers homered to right field off Martinez to tie the score at 3.

But his biggest hit came with two outs in the sixth inning when he singled to right-center off Nate Adcock to break the stalemate.

Dayan Viciedo started the inning with a single and Conor Gillaspie doubled him over to third. But Adcock struck out Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza ahead of Flowers.

“Tyler had a great night,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “The way he’s been swinging the bat and doing things, you feel pretty confident when he goes up there. Big at-bat, two outs to get us in there [and] a home run to tie it, then put the runs ahead. A big night for him.”

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White Sox starter Hector Noesi overcame a few early runs allowed for another big night.

Noesi, who pitched for Texas earlier this season, gave up a run in the first inning on two singles and allowed a two-run homer to Rougned Odor in the second after Noesi had extended the inning with an error at first base.

He settled in from there, however, and retired 15 of the next 20 he faced. Noesi allowed three runs (one earned) and four hits over seven innings. He walked three and struck out six.

But the bigger rebound belongs to Flowers and his glasses -- ahem, adjustments.

Since he began to wear the Oakley glasses, Flowers has a .390/.438/.695 slash line with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 64 plate appearances over 18 games.

Though he doesn’t like the word superstition, Flowers is going to continue playing along. After all, his batting average has risen from .213 to .252 in the past 18 games. Asked for the key to his turn around, Flowers joked around before trying to explain the key.

“I guess the glasses, right?” Flowers said. “That’s what everyone’s saying.

Just trying to keep working. I started doing a couple things a little bit different that I hadn’t really done before and I looked at other good hitters around the league and they all seem to do it. I started working on that and kind of good things have happened since I started working on that and a good feel has been there most days since that, although today I actually felt terrible. Who knows what happens? Baseball’s a funny game. I felt awful and had a really good game.”

Must be the glasses.