Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010
Updated 12:16 AM
By Brett Ballantini
As it turned out, Friday the 13th was the luckiest of days for Mark Teahen.
The White Sox super-utilityman, reactivated on Friday and immediately slotted in right field for the first time this season, paced an 8-4 Chicago win with a 2-for-4 night. Teahen jump-started a four-run rally with a single to right in the fifth inning and clocked a stratospheric homer to right-center in the sixth.
I felt great, Teahen said. It was a long time coming, so I wanted to come back and help out right away.
He was swinging the bat very well in Charlotte, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. When you come back, you can be feeling your way and playing a little cautious, so in light of that he had a great game. His success gives the ballclub a lot of flexibility.
Teahen rejoined the team after almost 10 weeks on the disabled list with a fractured right middle finger. In 11 rehabilitation games with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, Teahen hit .364 while playing third base, right field and DH; while in 45 games at first, third and DH earlier in the season with the White Sox, Teahen hit .255 and struggled defensively.
The game suffered a one-hour, 22-minute rain delay that began with one out in the seventh inning, mere minutes after Chicago starter Mark Buehrle had left the game. The southpaw threw an inefficient 100 pitches, but they were good enough to earn the veteran his 11th win on the season. Buehrle is now 5-0 with a 2.47 ERA over his last eight games.
Marks been really good for us, second baseman Gordon Beckham said. It seems like hes been that way for us for the last two months.
After the rain delay, Sergio Santos completed a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in relief with, oh, a mere 81-minute gap between pitches.
Guillen explained that he only let Santos return to the game after he talked the situation over with the rookie, as well as pitching coach Don Cooper. Santos now has 11 straight appearances without allowing a run and 15 without an earned run. His ERA has dropped to a ridiculous 1.42 and Santos has struck out 9.24 batters per nine innings.
It was Beckham who provided the biggest and most decisive blast of the game with a three-run, opposite-field clout in the fifth, putting the White Sox up 4-0. In the bottom of the seventh, Beckham and Juan Pierre hit back-to-back triples, both of which could have been stand-up, marking the first time in nearly nine years the White Sox belted consecutive triples in one game. On the former, Beckham displayed a fifth gear so hot he dried the infield dirt around second base as he made his turn.
I needed oxygen, Beckham said of his triple. It felt like more than a double, but not quite a home run. I felt I had to get to third.
Beckham is swinging at strikes, Guillen said of his scintillating second baseman, whos hitting .379 with 16 extra-base hits in his past 28 games. Early in the season, he was missing a lot of pitches, and now hes making contact and driving the ball.
Brandon Inge continued his terrorization of White Sox pitching with a solo shot in the eighth inning off of Chicago reliever Matt Thorntona blow that snapped the leftys 22-game scoreless appearance streak. Alexei Ramirez answered the blast with a home run to nearly the same spot in left-center in the bottom of the stanza.
With Minnesotas win over the Oakland As, the Twins remain one game ahead of the White Sox for first place in the A.L. Central.
Merely being able to include a paragraph like the one above in an August game story is new for Teahen, who had played all his previous Augusts with the routine also-rans, the Kansas City Royals. Thus the fairly famous owner of a pooch named Espy Teahen is brand-new to dog days play.
Theres a huge difference with the White Sox. Im used to being out of contention at this point, Teahen said. Its fun for me to be back on the field with a legitimate shot to make a run for the playoffs.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.