KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The White Sox will return to Chicago for their home opener Thursday in need of a group hug.
A sellout crowd is prepared to offer it to most of them anyway, especially with the way the White Sox ended their season-opening road trip with a come-from-behind victory over the Royals.
The White Sox drew plenty of attention around Major League Baseball after scoring 23 runs in their first two games, then lost back-to-back games, including one to the upstart Royals. Then came Wednesday’s affair in which the White Sox looked lethargic early, appeared to win it with a huge rally in the ninth and then had to go to extra innings. The roller-coaster ride ended with three runs in the 12th for the victory.
“Early in the season having a win like this where we kept coming back and kept fighting, not giving up, it’s good to have a win like that to know that you can do that at any time,” said Carlos Quentin, who matched a career high with four hits and had a two-run double to left-center to put the White Sox ahead briefly.
“Sometimes if you don’t get those wins early they’re a little harder to come by later. I just showed that our team was prepared and willing to still go out there and take professional at-bats and good things happen.”
The White Sox will be happy to play in their own park finally, but really they are just glad to be home.
Forget the five-game, six-day road trip to start the season, the entire White Sox staff has been living out of suitcases since the middle of February.
As much as Adam Dunn has been through with spring training, his Opening Day home run and his appendectomy that has him on the shelf, it’s easy to forget he still hasn’t watched a game in person at U.S. Cellular Field, much less played in one.
“Starting on the road is good and bad,” Konerko said. “A lot of times you want to get home for that off day before the season begins at home. But starting on the road, there’s already one trip in the books. You’re going to play 81 at home and 81 on the road, no matter how you slice it. But I think everybody is looking forward to it. And it’s a nice homestand with a day off in there.”
It might not be the heavyweight matchup that was expected this weekend with Dunn's status uncertain and the Rays’ Evan Longoria (oblique), but at least the White Sox can get home, get recharged and feel the love form the home faithful.
“It was a huge game for us,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It could have the road trip we weren’t looking for. We won the first two games and all of a sudden we were going to lose three games in a row? That’s why I say, good starts don’t mean anything. We have a very long homestand and hopefully we play better at home."