Start spreading the news: The White Sox don't fear the big, bad Yankees.
The same team that hit a comical .245 in the season's first half unloaded on the Yankees for a second consecutive night. This time they tagged former Sox lefty David Wells in an 11-2 victory before 40,654 stunned fans at Yankee Stadium.
"These guys are hot and they pummeled us basically," Yankees manager Joe Torre said
Sox manager Jerry Manuel was more diplomatic:
"We might have caught them at the right time and they might have caught us at a bad time."
A night after scoring nine runs off six-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, the Sox did one better against David Wells, who entered with a 64-25 record at Yankee Stadium for a .719 winning percentage that ranks second all-time among pitchers with at least 50 starts.
The Sox overcame a 2-0 deficit with seven runs in the fourth inning. Frank Thomas started the rally with his seventh home run in his last eight games.
Poetic justice, perhaps, given that Wells had publicly questioned the severity of Thomas' triceps injury in 2001. It turned out Thomas required season-ending surgery for a torn muscle.
Thomas said he derived no extra pleasure from the home run.
"Boomer [Wells] was a teammate and played hard for us," Thomas said. "What he said at the time, we were struggling and he tried to get us going. That was it. There are no hard feelings. It just felt good to get things started [Wednesday]."
Carl Everett and Paul Konerko contributed RBI doubles in the inning, but the biggest blows came from Tony Graffanino (two-run triple) and Roberto Alomar, who ripped a two-run homer.
Alomar, who spent nearly two miserable years in New York playing for the Mets, gave the locals even more reason to boo him. Not that Alomar was trying to silence them.
"I love to have good days," he said, speaking only to Chicago reporters. "Not only against the Yankees but against every team."
The seven-run outburst was more than enough for Bartolo Colon, who struck out a season-high 10 batters over seven innings.
"That was what we've been looking for all along," Manuel said. "From the first pitch, I said, 'Wow. He must be feeling really good tonight because the ball just jumped out of his hand.'"
Colon, who had complained of stiffness in his back after his last start, threw 123 pitches, his highest count since May 27. He justified Manuel's faith by retiring the final three batters he faced, two on strikeouts.
As good as the Sox felt after outscoring the Yankees 24-4 over two games, they were well aware that they couldn't add to their one-game lead in the American League Central with Kansas City beating Texas 9-0.
"These are good wins," Thomas said. "But Kansas City held their fort tonight, so we still have our work cut out for us."