CHICAGO – Jim Thome’s bat is warming up just as the Chicago White Sox are gearing up for a run at the postseason.
The veteran slugger hit two homers Wednesday night, giving him 561 for his career and helping right-hander Gavin Floyd and the White Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2.
“You are going to have those up and down times when you find your swing or your groove and you want it to last as long it can,” Thome said. “Unfortunately it doesn’t. But I try not to think about it too much, try to maintain my work and do what I can every day to put myself in a situation during the game to have success.”
This is one of those times. Thome, who will be 39 at the end of this month, now has seven homers in his last 21 games. And he’s two shy of tying Reggie Jackson for No. 12 on the career list.
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“We got a lot of guys picking each other up and when one guy gets hot, hopefully you can ride that for a while,” Thome said after the White Sox’s fifth win in six games — all against first-place teams, the Angels and the Yankees.
Floyd (9-6), who was aided by three double plays, allowed six hits and two runs in eight-plus innings. His bid for a complete game ended in the ninth when Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera had back-to-back singles. Floyd was replaced by Matt Thornton, and Kendry Morales hit a sacrifice fly for the Angels’ second run.
Floyd also pitched out of a jam in the eighth after a single by Gary Matthews Jr. and an error on Paul Konerko — the White Sox’s third miscue of the night. Maicer Izturis was thrown out trying to bunt and Floyd struck out Bobby Abreu looking to end the threat.
“We hit some balls hard. I thought our at bats were OK. He just pitched a good game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
“Three guys hit the ball right on the screws with guys on that turned into double plays.”
Floyd is now 5-0 in his last eight starts at U.S. Cellular Field, known as hitter-friendly park.
“I don’t pay attention to that. I don’t know. I can only say I try to keep it out of the air. This park is pretty notorious for the wind blowing out and, you know, balls carrying,” Floyd said. “You try to execute your pitches and whatever happens, happens.”
Thome hit a three-run shot to greet reliever Darren Oliver in the sixth — his second of the game and 20th of the season.