Home can’t be much sweeter for the White Sox, who have won all five series at U.S. Cellular Field.
They took two out of three against the Cincinnati Reds with a walk-off, 4-3 victory Sunday. It was their third walk-off win of the year.
But the Sox know they need to win on the road, too.
“We’re playing good baseball, and we have to focus on that and not how we played in the past,’’ said Gordon Beckham, whose single to right drove in the winning run off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman (1-1).
The flame-throwing Chapman threw pitches clocked at 100 and 101 mph, yet Avisail Garcia and Alexei Ramirez each singled with two outs and took third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch.
Beckham had never faced Chapman before.
“I was just trying to put the barrel on the ball,’’ Beckham said. “You don’t wait around for a guy like that.’’
It wasn’t a good day for Sox closer David Robertson either, though he got the win.
He had a 3-1 lead in the 9th but blew his first save when he gave up leadoff singles to Devin Mesoraco and Brayan Pena and a two-run double to Zack Cozart.
“I tried to get the pitch in on [Cozart],’’ Robertson said. “You have to tip your cap to him.’’
The victory would have gone to starter John Danks, who worked seven innings and threw 118 pitches trying to save a taxed bullpen.
“I told them I wish it was like that every time,’’ Danks said. “I know performance dictates [the duration of a start], but it’s fun to be out there awhile.’’
The Sox scored one run off starter Michael Lorenzen, one each off relievers Tony Cingrani and Jumbo Diaz for the lead. But they also stranded 13 runners and were 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
“They like playing here,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “But we need to start doing that on the road, too.’’
Stop the pass
Catchers Tyler Flowers and Geovany Soto each had passed balls charged to them Sunday, with Soto’s in the ninth allowing pinch runners to advance to second and third before Cozart’s double.
The Sox have six passed balls, equaling Toronto and San Diego for the most in the majors.
A well-earned rest
Carlos Rodon will have to wait until the Sox visit Oakland on Friday to pitch again. He’ll need the time off after working six innings in his first start Saturday.
“Right now, he’s just pitching. He’s happy to be here in the big leagues,’’ Ventura said, adding the number of innings Rodon pitches is a factor in assessing a potential move to the rotation. “You’re somewhat protecting the amount of usage you’re going to get out of him over the course of a year. He is a big, strong kid but you still have to protect against the urge of just running him up there for 200-something innings.’’
Who’s on third
Jose Abreu may yet play third base in a National League park this season, but it probably won’t be this week in Milwaukee.
“We’re still playing with that [idea],’’ Ventura said. “With him fouling a ball off his foot [Saturday], mobility-wise it might not be the best time to do it.’’
Pitcher Javy Guerra was officially outrighted to Class AAA Charlotte on Sunday.
* Class AA Birmingham shortstop Tim Anderson hit for the cycle Saturday at Montgomery. He was the first Birmingham player to achieve the feat since Victor Mercedes on Aug. 19, 2008.