HOUSTON -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura took somewhat of a calculated risk by putting Dioner Navarro, his second catcher, into Saturday's starting lineup as the designated hitter against the Astros.
If something happened to Alex Avila behind the plate, then the team would lose the DH. But the move turned out to be beneficial, as Navarro drove in four runs behind Chris Sale during a 7-6 White Sox victory at Minute Maid Park. Chicago has won eight of its past 12 and goes for its fourth straight series victory Sunday.
Navarro even matched his single-season high for triples at two by delivering a two-run three-bagger in the second.
"I can't remember the last time that happened. It's a lot of running for me," said Navarro, who tripled on April 27 against the Blue Jays. "I'll take the RBIs, I'll take the win, and we just have to keep doing what we're doing lately."
"He liked it. We all liked it," Ventura said of Navarro at DH. "We had to roll the dice a little bit with Melky [Cabrera] being out and having both of those guys in there, the left-handers, you need them in there. He has faced [Fister] before, so you take a chance on it, and he comes up with some big hits."
It was Navarro's two-run, two-out single off of Doug Fister in the fifth that gave the White Sox a lead they wouldn't relinquish. No. 8 hitter Avisail Garcia reached base twice, while J.B. Shuck homered, tripled and drove in two from the ninth spot.
Shuck's blast to right-center in the fourth marked the team's 15th straight solo homer, matching a franchise record set in 1965. So this victory, pushing the team back over .500 at 41-40, truly was a team performance behind its ace.
"We want to win the series," White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton said. "You can't look at the standings or what's going on around our league. All you have to worry about is win series."