White Sox manager Robin Ventura guessed that runs might be scarce Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, when Sox left-hander Chris Sale faced Giants right-hander Tim Hudson.
Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and designated hitter Adam Dunn didn’t receive the memo.
Conor Gillaspie hit a two-out double to right field, and Abreu followed by knocking his 20th home run of the season to left field.
Abreu reached 20 career homers in 58 games, faster than all but two players in major league history – Wally Berger (51 games in 1930) and Mark McGwire (56 games in 1987).
The Sox extended the lead to 4-0 when Tyler Flowers broke an 0-for-25 streak by hitting a bases-loaded, two-run single to center field in the fourth inning.
The Giants didn’t score until the fifth inning, when Buster Posey hit the Giants’ third straight single to drive in a run. Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly to center field cut the Sox lead to 4-2.
Gillaspie and Abreu started off the bottom half of the fifth with singles before Dunn hit career home run No. 452 about 406 feet to right field. The three-run shot pushed the Sox ahead 7-2.
Hudson departed after 4 2/3 innings, having allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits and walking one.
Sale lasted six innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out seven. The Giants scored their third run in the seventh inning, after Sale allowed a single and a walk before being pulled. Posey hit a sacrifice fly to center field off Sox reliever Jake Petricka to cut the Sox lead to 7-3.
The Sox gave up two more runs in the eighth inning after reliever Zach Putnam allowed two runners on with a single and a walk. Gregor Blanco then hit an RBI double off reliever Scott Downs, and Hunter Pence drove in another run with a groundout off closer Ronald Belisario to cut the Sox lead to 7-5.
Belisario allowed one run to score in the ninth inning but held on for a five-out save.
The Sox offense broke out in an 8-2 victory over the Giants on Tuesday night, but they followed by facing Hudson, who entered Wednesday 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA. Sale entered 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA.
“It should be a good game as far as the pitching goes,” Ventura said. “Runs should be scarce. We’ve got to be able to take advantage like last night and … score some runs just to give (Sale) a little bit of a buffer.”
The Sox are closing out a 10-day homestand Wednesday before embarking on an 11-game road trip against the Twins, Orioles and Blue Jays.