Adam Eaton thought it was a nice throwback to the games of yesteryear early Tuesday night when the PA system at U.S. Cellular Field was inoperable.
Once the sounds returned, the White Sox offense entered throwback mode itself. Resembling a unit that was difficult to stop in April and early May, the White Sox came alive in an 8-2 thrashing of the San Francisco Giants.
Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo both homered and John Danks delivered 6 1/3 sharp innings as the White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak.
“It was weird,” said Beckham, who tied the game in the third inning with a two-run homer shortly after the audio system returned. “I haven’t felt that in a long time, maybe since high school or something. But definitely a weird, eerie kind of thing. Glad the speakers turned on.
“You could tell when it came back on, everything was normal.”
The White Sox would love if their offense could reignite after a slow month.
A team that once topped the American League in most major categories has hit a lull since slugger Jose Abreu went on the disabled list last month. Entering Tuesday the White Sox had scored 3.3 runs per game in the last 26 contests.
Even now with Abreu back, the White Sox have struggled to regain the form that allowed them to average 4.9 runs per game through May 17.
But they found their way in the bottom of the third inning on Tuesday and it coincided with the sound system once again making noise.
Trailing 2-0 with two outs, the PA kicked in as Eaton strode to the plate and Montell Jordan’s hip-hop classic “This Is How We Do It” began to blare from the stadium’s speakers. Eaton singled with two outs and Beckham then worked the count full before he ripped an 92-mph fastball from Giants starter Matt Cain into the bleachers for a game-tying, two-run homer.
“We were waiting for that,” Eaton joked. “That was all planned.”
It couldn’t have gone much better afterward.
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Tyler Flowers drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the fourth inning after Abreu, Alexei Ramirez and Viciedo had all singled. Eaton followed with an infield RBI single and Brandon Crawford’s throwing error on the play allowed a second run to score as the White Sox took a 5-2 lead.
Conor Gillaspie, who had two hits against his former team, singled to start the fifth inning and moved up on a Cain wild pitch. Adam Dunn singled him in, and with two outs Viciedo drilled an 85-mph changeup from Cain 20 rows deep for a two-run homer and a six-run advantage.
Aside from an eight-run effort last Wednesday against Justin Verlander, the White Sox hadn’t scored that many runs since May 9.
“We’re getting the at-bats we want and being able to cash in on them,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
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Danks did the same with the excessive run support even despite his odd surroundings.
He yielded a first-inning solo home run and an unearned run in the third on Buster Posey’s RBI single. But with the music back, Danks settled in to retire 12 of the last 16 batters he faced.
Danks allowed two runs (one earned) and five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He’s 3-1 with a 1.51 ERA over his last five starts in 35 2/3 innings.
“It was weird in warmups just hearing the glove pop,” Danks said. “You don’t worry about it too much, but it was certainly something I’ve never been through.”
Eaton thought the same thing.
But instead of finding the occurrence strange, the leadoff man said he enjoyed the experience. The White Sox are certainly enjoying the way Eaton has played recently. Since June 6, Eaton has performed at a .385/.478/.538 clip, reaching base in 22 of 46 plate appearances.
“I like music, but I’m a baseball historian,” Eaton said. “I love old-time baseball and it really felt like this would maybe be what a game would sound like back early in 1900s. I thought it was kind of neat. You can hear everything on the field. It’s a different story when there’s no music. The umpire’s yelling at you. It was loud.”