CHICAGO – Kevin Youkilis wasted little time introducing himself to the crowd at U.S. Cellular Field.
Youkilis connected in his first at-bat in his new home, starting a three-homer barrage in the opening inning against Roy Oswalt and sending the White Sox to a 19-2 rout of the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Cries of “Youk, Youk, Youk” soon began to ring out across the stadium. And Youkilis finished with three hits and four RBIs, helping All-Star Chris Sale sail to his 10th victory.
“It was awesome,” said Youkilis, recently acquired from Boston. “People caught on real quick to the chants of ‘Youk’ when you get up there. It was cool just to feel at home again.”
Adam Dunn followed Youkilis’ two-run shot with his 25th homer of the season, and one out later Alex Rios hit his 11th to make it 4-0 lead.
In a matchup of division leaders, the White Sox finished with 21 hits, tying a season high.
“This team is built to win,” Youkilis said. “If we pitch well and play good defense, we don’t need to score 19 runs a game to do that.”
A.J. Pierzynski, not chosen for the American League All-Star team managed by Texas skipper Ron Washington, hit a three-run homer off reliever Yoshinori Tateyama – his 15th of the season – to cap a nine-run fifth inning and make it 16-0.
Pierzynski insisted he was not trying to make a statement.
“There is nothing I can do that is going to change anything,” Pierzynski said. “It was just nice to win because the Rangers have been the best team all year in the American League.”
Sale (10-2), who allowed a run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings, is 7-0 in his past nine starts.