TORONTO -- The Chicago White Sox have relied on dominant pitching and just enough hitting to jump out atop the American League Central. They flipped the script on Monday night, using a five-run seventh inning to win, 7-5, against the Blue Jays.
The White Sox entered the evening second-to-last in the Major Leagues in scoring. A deeper look shows that the White Sox have been a resilient group late in ballgames, scoring 33 of their 68 runs in the seventh inning or later, a trait the players feel comes from their ability to have good at-bats, regardless of the score.
"That's what this team is about. It's always somebody different," said Todd Frazier, who capped off the comeback with a two-run double off the wall in the seventh. "We were down four runs, we weren't out, and we just battled our tails off."
Now sitting at 14-6, the White Sox feel they are better offensively than they've shown so far. While the numbers haven't come around, the ability to score late has built an inner confidence among the players and a belief that it's only a matter of time before things improve.
"We know what we've got, we know what we're capable of," catcher Dioner Navarro, who made his return to Toronto said. "You look at our lineup, and we don't have the best offensive numbers, but when it matters most, we come through. That's the bottom line."
Monday's offensive rally becomes even more impressive considering it started against Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman then continued against one of Toronto's best relievers in Brett Cecil. All told, eleven Chicago batters came to the dish in the seventh, and the White Sox breakout inning gave way to their league-leading bullpen to close it out.
"They respond to situations," manager Robin Ventura said after the game. "I think they can feel it happening. A couple walks there, a couple base hits and they seize on opportunities. I think each guy that came up got more confidence than the guy before. Again, it's not anything that's new. They've been able to grind out at-bats and win late. It's a nice feeling to come from behind when you're kind of out of it, and be able to come back."
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.