CHICAGO -- A.J. Pierzynski kept telling Tyler Flowers his two-run, go-ahead home run wasn’t going to count for the Chicago White Sox if their game with the Seattle Mariners was called due to rain on Sunday.
With the White Sox trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh and the rain picking up, Flowers, who was filling in for Pierzynski at catcher, delivered a two-run shot over the center-field wall to put the White Sox up. After two more batters and just minutes later, the umpired called a rain delay, and the tarp was pulled onto the field.
It was then that Pierzynski alerted Flowers his home run was worthless if the game was called. At first, Flowers believed him. He didn’t know any better.
Soon after, though, Flowers was told the truth -- his home run would count and the White Sox would win if the game was called. One hour and 55 minutes later, the game was finally called, and Flowers and his teammates were able to celebrate their sixth consecutive win.
“A.J. was swearing to me that it wasn’t going to count, and we were going to lose,” Flowers said. “I don’t know if he was messing with me. We have good fun. We found out shortly once the delay happened it was going to count.”
The news capped a memorable weekend for Flowers. On Saturday, Pierzynski was ejected in the third inning, and Flowers replaced him and hit a home run in the White Sox’s 5-4 win over the Mariners. On Sunday, he started the game and smacked another home run.
Flowers has only played eight games in August, but he has hits in seven of those contests and has four home runs and eight RBIs in the month.
“He’s been playing great lately,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said prior to Sunday’s game. “(Saturday) came in, you know, it’s a big home run. And a good bunt, too. He’s got a lot more than just being able to hit home runs. I think that’s just another aspect of his game that he’s improving on. We already know he’s a good catcher. That other stuff is coming.”
The catching is still what matters most to Flowers.
“(Sunday) turns out to be a great game, hitting the game-winning home run, whatever it is,” Flowers said. “Like I said all along, the priority is to work with the pitchers and get them through the game to give us a chance to win.”
That Flowers did in more ways than one on Sunday.