CHICAGO -- The White Sox haven't had much to point to in terms of their offense as a whole this season.
They rank 13th in home runs, 13th in runs scored, 13th in OPS and 11th in on-base percentage among American League teams. But those numbers received a solid boost during Saturday night's 9-3 victory over the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field.
Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, Alex Avila and Tyler Saladino all went deep, as the White Sox finished with 15 hits -- eight for extra bases -- in improving to 5-3 on this nine-game homestand and 62-66 overall. The positive side note was that this offensive outburst came with Jose Quintana on the mound, the same Quintana whose 3.39 run-support average ranks second worst in the AL.
"What was really impressive was the offense tonight was really good for us and for me. It's fun when you're throwing when a lot of runs are scored," Quintana said. "I [tried] to keep my focus. Trying to get innings and not runs. It's really good when we get a lot of runs early."
"We had a nice, deep lineup today," said Avila, who hit his first homer since June 25 after missing nearly two months with a right hamstring strain. "Guys put up good at-bats throughout the game. It was fun to hit today."
This offense as it's constructed is probably as strong as it has been all season. Even when the White Sox jumped out to a 23-10 start, they didn't have as many options with the bat as they do now.
Tim Anderson, who tripled among his two hits Saturday, forms a solid one-two punch with Adam Eaton at the top of the order. Justin Morneau, who tripled and doubled, provides a much-needed left-handed hitting presence in the middle.
Garcia is healthy and driving the ball as he did before spraind right knee, and Saladino chipped in three hits from the nine spot as he continues to play every day in place of the injured Brett Lawrie. With a 7 1/2-game deficit to make up for the second AL Wild Card spot -- not to mention having to jump six teams with sizable leads -- it's probably a case of too little, too late.
But if this offense continues to click, it certainly will make for some tough matchups for playoff-contending teams facing the White Sox.
"Everyone can put the ball in play, and right now we have a special lineup," Garcia said. "You just gotta keep working and try our best every day."
"Q's probably the happiest guy of anybody. He was great," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Quintana. "Any time you swing the bat as well as we did tonight and you get some add-ons with the homers, you like seeing that kind of offense and you like seeing balls over the fence. Guys had a good night of just being patient and being able to cash in."