Patience pays off for Sox's Ventura
As Gordon Beckham's
grounder skipped through the left side of the infield and into left
field Wednesday night, a large majority of a crowd of 13,818 voiced
But that cheer paled in comparison to the positive reaction after Adam Dunn hit an opposite-field, three-run double later that reinforced manager Robin Ventura's theme of being patient through tough times.
Beckham's RBI single snapped an 0-for-14 slump, and Dunn's double snapped an 0-for-15 rut against left-handed pitchers this season. They highlighted a four-run sixth inning that put the finishing touches on an 8-1 victory over the Orioles that ended a three-game losing streak.
Throughout the collective slumps of several Sox batters, Ventura has preached patience. As a player, Ventura was known for his perseverance after overcoming an 0-for-41 slump during his rookie year in 1990 and battling back from a career-threatening ankle injury in 1997.
"I feel I have that patience and sometimes as players, they don't want to have that patience because they want it to happen right away," Ventura said. "I understand that. For me, it's what they bring every day as far as attitude, with playing hard and all those things. Don't let that kind of affect everything else."
Dunn, who was 6-for-94 (.064) against left-handers last season, poked a 3-2 pitch from left-handed reliever Troy Patton toward the left-field corner.
"The worst thing you can do is put your average up the first 100 at-bats because then you get people pressing over nothing," said Dunn, who is batting .195. "It can change in a couple of games. I definitely don't put any stock (in numbers)."
Ventura has displayed patience but he tentatively has scheduled a break for Brent Morel, who went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts to lower his batting average to .103. Brent Lillibridge is scheduled start at third base and bat second in Thursday's series finale, with catcher Tyler Flowers and second baseman Eduardo Escobar also scheduled to start.
"I know what he's going through," Ventura said of Morel. "But he's the one who has to go through it even though we support him and realize he's going to come out of it. It's still a tough one."
It hasn't been so tough, however, for A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy. Pierzynski hit his fourth home run, a two-run shot, to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
Peavy won his second consecutive home start for the first time since early May 2010.
"It was a good team win after two tough losses," Peavy said. "The boys showed up and played outstanding. A.J. behind the plate was outstanding, catching and throwing the ball, and Alexei (Ramirez) played great defense. Just a great team effort. The boys swung the bats. And we needed it after a couple tough losses."