A.J. Pierzynski didn’t start Sunday, but it didn’t stop him from hitting his 21st homer as the White Sox beat the Angels 4-2.
Pinch-hitting for Tyler Flowers, Pierzynski hit a tie-breaking two-run homer off Jason Isringhausen in the bottom of the seventh. It was his fifth straight game with a homer, matching a White Sox record.
Seven White Sox have homered in five straight games, including Frank Thomas twice. Paul Konerko was the last to do it last season.
Pierzynski’s 21 homers are three more than his career high from 2005, his first season in Chicago. He’s gotten there in just 311 at-bats. Between 2010 and ’11, he had 17 homers in 938 at-bats.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.