TORONTO -- The White Sox did something in their final at-bat they didn’t have for the entire road trip -- they threw a knockout punch.
As Paul Konerko sees it, one of the guys who needed it most delivered the blow. Tyler Flowers’ two-run single to center off Toronto Blue Jays reliever Sergio Santos gave the White Sox plenty of room to breathe in a 4-0 win at the Rogers Centre.
After an 11-game road trip filled with close contests and plenty of missed opportunities, the White Sox earned themselves an easy ninth inning.
“We’ve been kind of scuffling,” Konerko said. “Sometimes one hit by a guy can kind of break that open. Big hit for 'Flow.' He had three tough at-bats. He had the same situation yesterday, bases loaded, and didn’t get it done. He’s been grinding away and he’s doing a heck of a job behind the plate and I know he wants to hit better. He’s been working behind the scenes. You like to see him get rewarded, validated for his work. Besides that he’s been calling great games and these have not been easy games.”
No they haven’t.
Aside from a blowout loss Thursday, the four-run margin was the biggest of the entire 11-game road trip. Every other game was decided by one or two runs. Part of that is because the White Sox went 19-for-88 (.216) with runners in scoring position on the trip, including 2-for-11 with the bases loaded.
Flowers said he was glad to come through after going hitless in his first three at-bats, including an inning-ending strikeout with two aboard in the second inning.
“If you’re going to have one good at-bat, that’s the time to do it,” Flowers said. “I was OK with it.”
So was manager Robin Ventura, who after Saturday’s win said the White Sox needed to do a better job of putting games away. Flowers’ hit didn’t just make life easier on himself, it helped out a bullpen that has battled through issues galore on their three-city adventure.
“A four-run lead is different than a two-run lead,” Ventura said.