Flowers powers White Sox to rain-shortened win

Flowers powers White Sox to rain-shortened win

CHICAGO -- Tyler Flowers insists that the glasses he's sported for the past month are not the root of his offensive resurgence.

"I don't like the word superstition," Flowers said after the White Sox 5-3 rain-shortened win over the Rangers, in which he went 3-for-3, knocked in the tying and go-ahead runs, and finished a double shy of the cycle.

"I wear contacts usually, so I'm not going to give myself an excuse one day of not wearing contacts or glasses and having a bad day and blaming it on something. I'm going to listen to the doctors and wear one or the other, but I don't think it's relevant to success or failure."

It's hard, however, to deny the parallel between the specs and the stats: a .390 average with three of his seven home runs, 10 RBIs -- and, perhaps, most important, newfound assurance.

"The way he's been swinging the bat and doing things, you feel pretty confident when he goes up there," manager Robin Ventura said. "A big night for him. We're happy for him."

Flowers headlined a White Sox offense that showed resilience one day after the team's worst loss of the season, a 16-3 rout by the Twins.

With the White Sox trailing, 3-0, in the third, Flowers tripled on a ball on the cusp of a homer that bounced off the fence in right then back into play. After a crew chief review, Flowers' second career triple was upheld.

"[Rangers third baseman Adrian] Beltre apologized to me when I was at third," Flowers said, adding that his response to the All-Star was, "'I'm not too worried about it. I'll probably hit another homer. I don't know if I'll get another triple.'"

Jose Abreu, who on Monday became a two-time American League Player of the Month, lined a two-run single three batters later to plate Flowers and Adam Eaton, who had walked. Eaton is riding an 11-game hit streak and has reached safely in 21 straight.

Flowers got his solo homer in the fifth, tying the score, and added a two-run single an inning later to send home the game-winning runs.

But he insists that the glasses aren't the cause, crediting instead gradual adjustments to his swing.

"Trying to be downhill a little more. Trying to make a positive move toward the pitcher with the stride," he said. "I have a tendency to kind of want to stay back, and that tends to make me collapse a little bit more on the back side. When it's there, it's pretty good, and when it's not, it's not very good.

"It's still something I'm working on, and the majority of good hitters out there do that. I realized I hadn't been. Still trying to get comfortable with it."

The win, however, wasn't without its mistakes.

Starter Hector Noesi committed a two-out error in the second inning that the Rangers parlayed into a two-run homer to take a three-run lead after Beltre opened the scoring with a two-out RBI single in the first.

In the fifth, Eaton was caught in a 2-5 strikeout/double play trying to steal third. Alexei Ramirez was on first, and due up was Dayan Viciedo, who's hitting .353 with runners on first and second with two outs.

But the South Siders crept back to secure their 24th come-from-behind win of the season.

Noesi allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks over 104 pitches in seven innings.

With the aid of Mother Nature, the former member of the Rangers notched the first complete game of his career, giving the beleaguered bullpen a much-needed breather.

"I said to one guy in the bullpen that I wanted to go eight innings to help them," said Noesi, who was traded to Texas in April but designated for assignment 10 days later.

"I don't know if you can necessarily plan it," Ventura said of the bullpen's break. "But in the end, you're happy that Hector was able to go seven. We didn't have to use anybody out there. … But [Daniel Webb] was ready to go in."

Rain halted the game twice -- a 22-minute delay before the first pitch, and a 57-minute stoppage after the top of the seventh before the game was called for good.

Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.