It's doesn't take a blue-ribbon panel to conclude that the more money a team spends, the better its chances of making the playoffs.
But jacking up the payroll doesn't mean an automatic bye to the postseason, as the Texas Rangers seem to prove in recent seasons.
The Sox blasted the megabucks Rangers 11-6 Tuesday night, cruising home behind home runs by Jose Valentin, Kenny Lofton and Magglio Ordonez at the Ballpark in Arlington.
It was the seventh time this season the Sox have scored 10 or more runs, after scoring in double digits 11 times all of last season. They sent 12 men to the plate in Tuesday's eight-run sixth inning, the ninth time they've batted around this year.
"Guys are not getting too excited," said Frank Thomas, who added three RBIs. "We've been swinging like this all year. We're definitely hitting in spurts."
While Texas has a payroll of $105 million, third highest in baseball behind the Yankees and Red Sox, the White Sox clock in at No. 18 at $57 million. That's almost as much as the combined salaries of Alex Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Carl Everett.
The Sox cut corners with low-priced talent on its pitching staff, but Gary Glover, Mike Porzio and Matt Ginter held the Rangers to five hits Tuesday.
Glover moved into the rotation with a 1.32 earned-run average, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks in three innings. He was removed after only 61 pitches and his ERA ballooned to 2.70, as the 29-year-old Porzio was credited with his first major-league victory.
Porzio received the traditional beer shower from his teammates.
"I had an idea it was coming," Porzio said.
Who did it?
"Everyone," he replied with a grin.
What kind of beer?
"Every kind," he said.
The Sox scored in every kind of way Tuesday night. They manufactured a run in the first on a Palmeiro error, a stolen base by Lofton, a sacrifice by Ray Durham and Frank Thomas' sacrifice fly. Texas tied it in the second on Palmeiro's solo homer and took a 3-1 lead in the third on Gabe Kapler's two-run double.
After Royce Clayton singled home a run in the fourth, Lofton misplayed a Mike Young hit into an RBI triple in the bottom of the inning to give the Rangers a two-run lead again. Lofton made up for the play with a solo homer in the fifth, and later made an outstanding, over-the-shoulder catch to rob Young of extra bases in the sixth.
By that time the Sox turned it into a laugher, scoring eight in the top of the sixth off relievers Randy Flores and Todd Van Poppel. Valentin's solo shot off Flores started the inning off, and Van Poppel gave up five runs on two pitches, a two-run single to Thomas followed by Ordonez's three-run homer on the next delivery.
"We've been hitting good in bad weather," said Ordonez on a cloudy, 80-degree evening. "In the hot weather, we're even more relaxed."