Traditionally, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July have been convenient milestone dates to access the progress of major league ballclubs.
The third-place Chicago White Sox swept the Miami Marlins with a 5-3 victory Sunday afternoon. It was the Sox’ first series sweep of the season and they reached the .500 mark (24-24) for the first time since April 10.
“I don’t know if I necessarily subscribe to (those specific dates),” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Your team kind of goes through different things during the season. I don’t think we started off that great, but in the last couple of weeks you kind of gain some footing….just the feeling you’re going to go out and win games. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing or who’s throwing or anything like that. You feel better for your team as far as the way it’s playing. For me, the defense was the (problem) for me early. But even offensively you are doing things that help win games.”
Righthander Dylan Axelrod (3-3) got the win, Addison Reed earned his 17th save. The Marlins’ Alex Sanabia (3-7) took the loss.
The Sox have won 9 of their last 12.
The Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Adam Dunn’s 12th homer of the season. Alexei Ramirez had reached on a one-out single before Dunn took Sanabia’s first pitch into the leftfield bleachers. Dunn had been 1-for-18 during the homestand before the homer.
The Marlins countered with three straight singles to start the second inning. Marcell Ozuna led off with a hard shot to left field. Chris Coghlan poked a hit to left and Dayan Viciedo’s throw to third to try to nail Ozuna was late. Coghlan moved up to second on the throw to third.
Justin Ruggiano also singled to left to score Ozuna, but Coghlan was nailed at the plate on Viciedo’s throw to catcher Hector Gimenez. With two outs, Green hit an RBI base hit to drive in Ruggiano with the tying run.
Alejandro De Aza gave the Sox a 4-2 lead in the second inning with a two-run double. Viciedo had left off with a ground-rule double that one-hopped the fence in right-center before Gimenez drew a two-out walk. De Aza then doubled deep to left-center to clear the bases.
Axelrod walked the first two batters in the Marlins’ third inning. Juan Pierre advanced from second to third on a fly out to right by Derek Dietrich. Then Pierre scored on a slow groundout to third by Ozuna to cut the Sox lead to 4-3.
The Sox threatened again in the bottom of the third when Paul Konerko singled and Viciedo doubled into the rightfield corner. Konerko was thrown out at the plate, however, to end the threat.
Alex Rios gave the Sox a 5-3 lead in the eighth with an RBI single. De Aza had opened the inning with his second double of the day before Rios drove him in.