How it happened: Hector Santiago gave the White Sox a solid 107 pitches in his first start in 2½ weeks. Taking over a rotation spot from the injured Jake Peavy, Santiago gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. Tyler Flowers and Alex Rios hit home runs for the White Sox, who still aren’t a force offensively but have scored at least four runs in five of the last six games. Addison Reed earned his 19th save and ninth consecutive. After an eight-game losing streak, the White Sox have won three of their last five games.
What it means: The bottom of the White Sox’s order is starting to carry some of the load. After not hitting a home run in over a month, Flowers got one Friday and another Sunday from the No. 9 spot. In Friday’s game he matched a career high with three hits. Before the series began, Flowers was batting .171 with dreadful .471 OPS in his previous 13 games. No. 8 hitter Gordon Beckham had an RBI double after batting .304 (7-for-23) in his first six games after returning from the disabled list.
Outside the box: Conor Gillaspie knows how to get down and dirty to help White Sox pitchers. Not known for his defense when he was acquired from the San Francisco Giants this spring, Gillaspie has shown some flair with his glove at third base. He made three diving stops and throws across the infield for outs Sunday. The first was to his right to end the top of the third. He then he made two to his left, one to end the top of the fifth and another for the second out in the eighth.
Off beat: Paul Konerko will never be known as a speed demon, but he gave his legs a workout Sunday. In the fourth inning he advanced from first to second on a fly ball to center field by Gillaspie. He then scored on a Beckham double. In the eighth inning, a pitch just trickled away from A’s catcher Derek Norris and Konerko advanced to second on what was ruled as a wild pitch.
Up next: The White Sox will send Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 3.73 ERA) to the mound Monday against Toronto in the opener of a three-game series. He will be opposed by Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey (5-7, 4.66) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.