Good teams find ways to win close games.
The White Sox, therefore, qualify as a good team, raising their record in one- and two-run games to 26-10 with a second straight last-minute escape in Saturday's 6-5 victory over Cleveland.
"We find a way to win by one run all the time," manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Saturday was a new way.
It came one day after the Sox had found still another way to win by two.
And closer Dustin Hermanson was on the mound for both of them.
"As long as there are W's behind them it doesn't matter," Hermanson said.
Here's how Saturday's drama played out:
Leading by two runs and with two outs in the ninth, Hermanson got Grady Sizemore to pop up to left field. But Scott Podsednik lost the ball in the late afternoon sun and Sizemore wound up on third base.
Then Hermanson coaxed Coco Crisp to bounce one on the ground, but it hopped right over the head of first baseman Paul Konerko.
The Sox's lead had been whittled to one run by two fluke hits. But Hermanson got Travis Hafner to ground out to end the game, much to the relief of 26,365 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
Just the night before, Hermanson was protecting a two-run lead with two outs in the ninth when Aaron Boone singled and Sizemore hit a ball that Podsednik caught with his back against the left-field wall.
"As long as we get the win, I don't care," said Hermanson, who has converted his last 13 save opportunities.
Saturday's victory guaranteed the White Sox their 14th series win in 18 this season.
"That's all you have to do, don't get swept," Guillen said. "If we go like this the rest of the year, we'll have a pretty good season."
One of those leading the way in this good season has been pitcherJon Garland, who tied for the major-league lead Saturday with his ninth victory and raised his home record to 5-0.
Despite not being at his best, Garland won for the first time since May 17 by allowing nine hits and four runs in 62/3 innings.
"You know there are going to be those days," Garland said. "It's a long season, it's a battle, it's a grind. You just make do with what you've got some days."
The Sox did what has become their norm, taking the lead right away.
Their two first-inning runs gave them a 2-1 advantage.
Garland got out of his half of the inning with only one run, although he left the bases full after allowing three hits.
In the bottom half, Aaron Rowand ran his hitting streak to nine games with a two-run double, scoring Tadahito Iguchi and Frank Thomas, who had both singled.
In fact, Thomas, who is recovering from left ankle surgery and a right hip strain, scored all the way from first base without sliding.
The Sox took a 3-1 lead in the second inning when Juan Uribe doubled and eventually scored on Podsednik's sacrifice fly off Cleveland starter Jason Davis.
Garland again escaped a three-hit inning with only one run in the fifth. Konerko got that back with this 14th homer in the bottom of the inning, but Garland gave it back in the next half inning on a homer by Victor Martinez.
"That was a big key, no big innings," Garland said. "They had their singles and doubles, but nothing in a big situation."
The Sox struck back once more, this time with Joe Crede's two-run homer off reliever Matt Miller that made the score 6-3.
Damaso Marte allowed the fourth Garland run, then went 11/3 innings before giving way to Hermanson. But good teams win close games.
"And we've had plenty of them," Hermanson said.Copyright © 2015, CT Now