Pierzynski doing his part behind the plate

Pierzynski doing his part behind the plate

BALTIMORE -- Even when things go right for White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski during a trying season with the bat, they end up going wrong.

"I was joking how I finally did something to help around here and I get hurt," said Pierzynski, following the White Sox 4-2 victory over the Orioles on Saturday night.

Pierzynski delivered the game-tying, two-out double off reliever Jason Berken in the seventh, scoring Alexei Ramirez from first base, but tweaked his left ankle upon advancing to third without sliding. The catcher left the game after rolling the ankle on third base and falling but said he would be fine to catch on Sunday.

Getting back into the lineup gives Pierzynski a chance to improve upon his .235 average, sitting some 50 points behind his lofty .286 career mark, although Pierzynski certainly isn't putting his 2010 slump ahead of the team.

"Personally, am I having a good year? No, I'm having a terrible year," said Pierzynski. "The only thing that is keeping me sane or from wanting to jump off of my balcony at the hotel is we are pitching really well and I hope I have a small part in that. And we are in first place and we are winning."

Ultimately, Pierzynski is about White Sox success, as he has proven over the past six years on the South Side. There might be times where Pierzynski slams a helmet or enacts his patented bat flip after just missing a pitch or hitting a ball hard and right at someone, but those reactions are born more out of frustration coming from not being able to help the team.

Pierzynski has hit in tough luck this season, as his seventh-inning drive caught by Nick Markakis at the right-field wall on Friday would indicate. He also has been called upon to handle a pitching staff standing as absolutely crucial to the White Sox playoff drive, including inexperienced hurlers such as Sergio Santo, Lucas Harrell and now Chris Sale.

If the White Sox pitchers do well, then those efforts outweigh Pierzynski's 12-for-64 showing in the second half.

"They pitch well and that's the No. 1 job for me and the No. 1 priority," Pierzynski said. "It has been e frustrating year offensively. We have two more months and hopefully they are a good two months and we go from there.

"Right now, I'm focused on getting pitchers going and keeping them going. I'm focused on having them ready for the run here at the end and see what happens."

Impending free agency for Pierzynski after 2010 has been talked about since Spring Training. With so much on the line for the White Sox between now and the first week of October, Pierzynski doesn't have time to think about how this slump will affect his future market.

"There's always going to be some perception about me with this or that," Pierzynski said. "I can't worry about that. The only thing I can do is go out and play as hard as I can every day. I've been here six years and I've never really had a problem here. I hope the organization here feels the same way.

"All I know is I'm in just as good of shape as I was five years ago. I'm not striking out every time up there. I'm putting the ball in play. I'm just not getting hits. It happens. It's frustrating as hell. But at the same time, we are winning so who am I to complain."