Back-to-back-to-back-to-back jacks get Sox back to .500

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com | @CST_­sox­van

Four, off the floor.

The White Sox hit four con­sec­u­tive home runs in the fifth in­ning of a 7-2 vic­tory over the St. Louis Car­di­nals on Sun­day at Guar­an­teed Rate Field, the sec­ond time in fran­chise his­tory the feat has been achieved.

Say what you want about these up-and-down, hot-and-cold Sox.

They’re never dull.

Yoan Mon­cada started the flurry with a three-run home run to right field, fol­lowed by Yas­mani Gran­dal on a blast to right and home runs to left by Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez.

All four homers came against Car­di­nals right-han­der Roel Ramirez, who made his ma­jor­league de­but. Ramirez re­placed Dakota Hud­son to open the fifth with the Sox lead­ing 1-0 on Jimenez’s RBI sin­gle in the first.

It was the 10th time in his­tory a team hit four home runs in a row and the sec­ond time for the Sox, who also did it Aug. 14, 2008, against the Roy­als when Jim Thome, Paul Kon­erko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe all went deep at U.S. Cel­lu­lar Field.

The Na­tion­als’ Howie Ken­drick, Trea Turner, Adam Ea­ton and An­thony Ren­don hit con­sec­u­tive dingers June 9 of last sea­son against the Padres’ Craig Stam­men.

The Sox’ of­fense had been quiet in the first two games of the se­ries, get­ting three hits in each of its losses in a dou­ble­header sweep Satur­day at the hands of the Car­di­nals, a team play­ing for the first time in 17 days. It only had two hits be­fore ex­plod­ing for six in the six-run fifth.

“We needed some­thing like that to kind of spark us,” man­ager Rick Rente­ria said.

It was the first homer of the sea

son for Gran­dal, and Mon­cada was 0-for-12 in his last five games and 7-for-42 with two ex­tra-base hits in his last 10 games.

“Ter­ri­ble,” is how Gran­dal, who signed a four-year, $68 mil­lion con­tract — the rich­est in fran­chise his­tory — de­scribed his per­for­mance thus far. He’s bat­ting .230 with 10 RBI.

“Hope­fully the luck turns my way in the next few weeks and we get it rolling,” Gran­dal said. “As of right now, I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out.”

Jimenez has home­red four times in his last five games and leads the team with seven. Mon­cada and Abreu have four each.

“It’s al­ways fun to do it backto-back, or back-to-back-to­back-to-back, but when you’ve got four guys who are do­ing it in a row, no mat­ter who it is, it be­comes spe­cial,” Gran­dal said.

“It’s great to bounce back. A lot of guys took their at-bats deep and made Hud­son work, made their bullpen work, and we were able to get to him and get ahead early and keep putting it on them.”

Mon­cada’s homer trav­eled 417 feet, Gran­dal’s 425 feet, Abreu’s 372 feet and Jimenez’ 402 feet, a 1,616-foot ex­hale for a team that didn’t want to fall to 10-12 and in­stead heads into a four-game home se­ries against the Tigers at 11-11.

“The rea­son for that strug­gle was I lost my rhythm at the plate,” Mon­cada said through a trans­la­tor. “I was feel­ing good, but I was out of sync with my swing.

“It was a tough day for us Satur­day, but [Sun­day] was a dif­fer­ent day. We showed what we are ca­pa­ble of do­ing.”

No postgame pep talk from left-han­der Dal­las Keuchel (3-2, 3.07 ERA), who pitched 5‰ in­nings of two-run ball and hasn’t had a bad start yet, was needed af­ter this one.

“As far as my [we’re go­ing through the mo­tion] com­ments [last Mon­day], that was just a mat­ter of fact,” Keuchel said. “It wasn’t any­thing to fire the guys up or light a fire. That was what it was. I said what I felt, and life goes on. We’re do­ing all right.”


Yoan Mon­cada (from left), Yas­mani Gran­dal, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez ripped con­sec­u­tive home runs off de­but­ing Roel Ramirez in the fifth in­ning.

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