CHICAGO -- It has taken A.J. Pierzynski just 41 games this season to reach eight home runs, which was his total for all of the 2011 campaign. While Pierzynski is not known as a classic power hitter with 136 career long balls, he has kept himself in prime shape and followed an intense work ethic to continue producing at age 35 and with 10 straight years of at least 1,000 innings caught behind him.
"He's always working out and focused on being in shape," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Pierzynski, who is hitting .444 with three homers, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored in his last 11 games. "I don't know. There's a certain bit of longevity to him that's been there. He's been a workhorse for a long time. He's put in a lot of innings but continues to stay on top of being ready.
"Yeah, he's got more power than you just initially look at and see. He's a big guy and he's just been getting in a good position to hit. If he hits it, it's going to go. So, sometimes that just happens. I don't know if there's a reason for it, but he looks good at the plate and he has been consistent, too."
Pierzynski feels as good swinging the bat as he looks, a fact also noticed by the opposition.
"I'm a little bit more relaxed, but other than that, I'm just trying to have as much fun and not think about anything, really," Pierzynski said. "I have a good feeling that we found kind of in Spring Training and I'm just trying to stick with it."
"Hey, he's been a good hitter in this league for years," said Cleveland manager Manny Acta of Pierzynski. "He's been pretty consistent throughout his years and this year he's been hitting pretty good against us."