After crashing against the right-field fence to make a game-ending catch Friday, Jermaine Dye took a look at it on the U.S. Cellular Field replay screen.
For Dye and the White Sox, this was the perfect punctuation mark to their transformation after last weekend's humbling losses to the rival Cubs.
From Orlando Cabrera stretching a single into a double in the first inning to Jose Contreras inducing Derrek Lee to ground into two double plays to Nick Swisher's grand slam, the Sox instantly distanced themselves from the ignominious sweep with an aggressive 10-3 victory before a sellout crowd of 39,132 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
Dye had three hits and three RBIs, stole third base and also made a sliding catch of Lee's fly in addition to the highlight reel catch of the final out. "I came to the field not feeling good, a little sluggish and tired from a long flight," Dye said referring to the Sox arriving late Thursday from Los Angeles. "To play like I did says a lot about myself, getting ready to play when it's time to turn it around. It was a good all-around game for me and the team."
Since last weekend, the Cubs have lost three of four while the Sox have won three of four.
"Some of us were saying we didn't exactly feel as good as we could," Swisher said. "Then we got some hits and started feeling a lot better."
Swisher's slam highlighted a season-high seven-run third inning and knocked out Dempster, who coasted to a complete game Sunday to complete the Cubs' sweep at Wrigley.
"You have to take care of business at home," Dye said after the Sox's fourth consecutive triumph at home. "Guys are more comfortable, whether sleeping in beds or home-cooked meals or stepping in the box."
As convincing as the outcome was, starting pitcher Jose Contreras was far from sharp. But his getting Lee to ground into his second double play in the third in a scoreless game was the turning point and came after Contreras was on the receiving end of mound visit from Guillen about pitching more aggressively.
"I think that got everyone fired up," Dye said. "It stopped the momentum they had going, and we proceeded to score more runs."
Said Cubs manager Lou Piniella: "There are a lot of ifs in baseball."
In the bottom of the third, Piniella was faced with a dilemma because Dempster was in trouble and reliever Scott Eyre limited his options because he was unavailable with a groin injury.
After pitching coach Larry Rothschild visited Dempster following Carlos Quentin's RBI double, Dye hit an RBI single. Two walks and Swisher's slam finally prompted Piniella to pull Dempster.
"I know it's really hard to sit at your locker after the game and not give them any credit, but they deserve the credit because they took advantage of the mistakes I made," Dempster said.
The rally allowed the Sox to absorb homers from Geovany Soto, Mike Fontenot and Jim Edmonds off Contreras (7-6), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
The offense needed no such inspiration as Quentin had his second career four-hit game and third base coach Jeff Cox wisely challenged the defense of left fielder Eric Patterson, who let A.J. Pierzynski's single skip past him for a two-base error in the third.
Dye, meanwhile, didn't let up with RBI hits in the third, sixth and eighth.
"They swung the bats, and we didn't pitch well," Piniella said, summing things up. "What are you going to do? Go out and play [Saturday]."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times