Dyan Viciedo’s walk-off shot in 10th punctuates 4-3 Sox victory over Mariners
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org April 7, 2013 9:46PM
Sun-Times sportswriter Daryl Van Schouwen. January 27, 2012 | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times
Updated: April 7, 2013 9:49PM
The White Sox celebrated Dayan Viciedo’s first walk-off home run in the shadows surrounding home plate Sunday, happy for a 4-3 victory against the Seattle Mariners that put a picturesque, finishing touch on 4-2 opening homestand, and happy for a teammate who was fighting through a short but tough-to-take slump.
“When someone has a walk-off hit, everyone is excited, but a walk-off homer, it’s hard to say who’s more excited — the guy who hit it or the 24 other guys who get to meet him at home plate,’’ Sox first baseman Adam Dunn said. “It’s one of those really cool experiences. I’m sure ‘Tank’ will hit a few more of those.’’
After homering against the Kansas City Royals in the season’s second game, Viciedo hadn’t reached base in 12 at-bats. On Thursday, the superstrong 24-year-old Cuban struck out four times and beat himself up pretty good.
“He’s so talented and so good,’’ said Dunn, who hit his 408th career home run in the first inning. “He’s so modest and doesn’t realize how good he is. He is just scratching the surface on how good he’s going to be.
“He hits the ball hard to all parts of the field. When he learns his swing and these pitchers, he’s going to be a stud for a long time.’’
Viciedo takes his failures to heart and badly wants to succeed, Dunn said. So when he played Justin Smoak’s liner off the left-field wall in the seventh and threw him out at second for his 14th outfield assist since last season, Dunn cheered. When Viciedo ripped a pitch from Kameron Loe over the left-field wall in the 10th, Dunn yelled louder and charged to home plate.
“I feel very happy,’’ Viciedo said. “It was my turn to do something to help the team.’’
Once again, the Sox relied on the long ball. Dunn hit a two-run shot against Hisashi Iwakuma in the first after Mike Morse had given the Mariners a 2-0 lead against Chris Sale with his fifth homer. Rios tied it at 3 in the seventh with a leadoff shot against Iwakuma after Kendrys Morales homered off Sale in the sixth. Fifteen of the Sox’ 22 runs have been delivered by homers.
“We like home runs, too,’’ said manager Robin Ventura, who has been campaigning for “manufactured” runs to supplement his team’s attack. “There has to be a balance at some point, but they scored home runs today, too. We have guys who have the ability to do it, and you take it. You get a guy like ‘Tank’ who can hit home runs, you want him to do more. He knows he has to do more than just hit home runs, but late in the game, it ends pretty quick when guys can hit it like that.’’
Addison Reed (1-0) worked the 10th inning for the win after Matt Lindstrom and Jesse Crain pitched scoreless relief after Sale, who was good but not great with three runs allowed over seven innings.
On a day when the Sox wore their 1983 throwback uniforms for the first time, the mob scene at the plate made for a nice photo opportunity to promote the “Winning ugly” look. For Dunn, Sale and those among the 18,708 who stayed for the finish, it was a pretty sight.
“What a way to win it,’’ Sale said. “It was exciting and fun to watch. That ball was crushed.’’