The punch line will be that they missed the extra point, but the White Sox will gladly take Monday's 13-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, achieved behind Jon Garland's solid pitching performance and a lineup that produced nine runs in its first three at-bats.
Garland (1-1) pitched seven innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs and no walks. He held the Orioles to two hits through 6 1/3 innings before they bunched three hits and scored three times in the seventh.
"I wanted to come out and have a quality start and give the team a chance to win," Garland said after the Sox made it three out of four over the Orioles. "I felt good all day, even when I was warming up.
"Early on I was throwing the fastball real well. When we put up all those runs, I didn't try to do too much. I just went right after 'em."
The Sox went right after Baltimore starter Jason Johnson (0-3), scoring a run in the first inning, five in the second and three in the third.
Kenny Lofton led off with a single to center, stole second base and scored on Paul Konerko's single. Lofton has scored a run in 11 consecutive games. He would score two more by the third inning and was replaced in the fourth as the Sox endeavored to get Aaron Rowand some at-bats.
Lofton finished 2-for-2 with a walk. He's batting .426 with a six-game hitting streak and has reached base in all 12 games.
"He's involved in the game right from the jump," Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "That's basically what you ask of a leadoff hitter.
"He's playing extremely well, with a lot of intensity and a lot of focus."
In their five-run second, the Sox loaded the bases on singles by Mark Johnson and Royce Clayton and a walk to Lofton. Ray Durham knocked in two runs with a single to left. Frank Thomas followed with a walk and Konerko ripped an RBI single to left.
That was it for Johnson, but Carlos Lee greeted reliever Chris Brock with a two-run double into the left-field corner for a 6-0 Sox lead.
In the third, Johnson walked and moved to third on Clayton's double to right. Lofton followed with a two-run double to the gap in right-center and scored on Thomas' double-play grounder for a 9-0 advantage.
Durham went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, raising his average to .341. Konerko, who ended an 0-for-16 skid Saturday, went 3-for-5 and matched his career high with five RBIs. His day included his first home run of the season--a three-run shot that traveled 400 feet to left field.
"I'm catching a streak of good pitches to hit," he said.
Konerko, who was mystified by his dry spell, is equally perplexed by his 7-for-10 tear.
"I'll go back and look at tapes, and a lot of the swings when I wasn't getting hits are exactly the same as right now," he said. "The only thing I figured out is that you can't figure anything out."
Captions: PHOTO (color): Paul Konerko belts his first homer of the season--a three-run shot--in the fifth inning Monday against the Orioles. Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times