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White Sox offense getting it done late

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HOUSTON -- No team in baseball has scored more runs in the ninth inning (38 entering Saturday) than the White Sox. Three teams were tied for second at 23. The White Sox also ranked second in the American League with a .281 average with runners in scoring position.

About the only thing missing would be a consistent early burst of offensive firepower. Collin McHugh held the White Sox to one Alejandro De Aza single over 5 1/3 innings Friday before the visitors scored four in the sixth.

"I don't think we've jumped out on a team early yet," said White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn, who hit the game-deciding three-run homer on Friday. "I don't know why that it is, but at some point, we feel like it's going to happen."

Manager Robin Ventura agreed about his team not jumping out to early leads. But he also prefers the approach shown by his offense this season that allows for crooked numbers later in the game, as opposed to scoring single runs early and nothing more -- as was the case many times last season.

"There was nothing coming later," Ventura said of the offense in '13. "So, I think this is more of a professional approach that eventually wears down to where you feel like once you get a chance and get guys in scoring position, they feel like they are going to put some runs on the board and they put up crooked numbers.

"It just seemed like last year we were getting one early and didn't feel like we could come back at any point. This is just a by-product of good at-bats over the course of time."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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