The White Sox didn't waste any time setting themselves up for their second series win of the year Wednesday night, breaking out the bats early and jumping on Kansas City Royals starter Brian Bannister for five hits and four runs in the first inning en route to a 9-2 victory.
Andruw Jones belted his ninth home run of the year -- a two-run shot -- after a Gordon Beckham walk and Carlos Quentin and Mark Teahen followed with with RBI singles later in the inning to give starter Freddy Garcia a comfortable lead.
Garcia parlayed the early run support into his first win of the year and the Sox answered manager Ozzie Guillen's plea for offensive consistency sooner rather than later by tying their season-high for runs in an inning.
"That's big for us," Guillen said of the early offense. "We didn't score four runs in nine innings [Tuesday], now we score four in one. That always gives you a good cushion and more confidence."
On Tuesday, he'd bemoaned the team's lack of consistency after a 7-2 loss, saying that the team's been transforming into a completely different animal within the span of 24 hours. Wednesday's win resulted in only the second winning series for Guillen's club -- and the first against a division rival.
"Today we came back, we came fired up," said Jones, whose longball moved him past Joe Carter and into 49th on the all-time home run list. "We got on the board early and Freddy pitched a tremendous game."
"It's tough for the pitchers to go out there knowing they may give up one or two runs, they may lose," Juan Pierre said. "That's the way it's been going the last month, so to go out there and get him some runs early, get Freddy runs early so he can get into his game, it's real good."
The Sox now have a chance to win consecutive games for just the third time this season tonight in the series opener against Toronto. And while winning streaks are great, Jones pointed out that it's about taking series consistently.
"The main thing we want to concentrate about is not to win 15, 20 in a row, just trying to win any series we can and see what happens at the end of the day."