(670 The Score) After allowing a run in the ninth inning Wednesday night while trying to finish off the Twins, White Sox closer Liam Hendriks heard a yell from the crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field. He recognized the voice.
It was Kristi Hendriks, his wife, with some pointed words that helped Liam regain his intensity on the mound. Hendriks struck out three consecutive Twins to finish off the White Sox's 13-8 win on Wednesday, then he took the mound with one out in the eighth inning Thursday afternoon and closed out Chicago's 4-2 victory against Minnesota with a five-out save.
So what did Kristi yell out at her husband?
"'Don't suck,' pretty much, in looser terms," Hendriks said. "But she knows what I needed to hear.
"It kind of got me going a bit. I got a little bit more angry on the mound and was pitching with some attitude. That came out in those last couple batters."
Known for his emotion on the mound, Hendriks unleashed a loud scream after striking out Twins left fielder Trevor Larnach for the final out of the victory Thursday. It was Larnach who had a hit against Hendriks in the ninth inning Wednesday, the first of his MLB career.
The White Sox needed their closer Thursday as they completed the sweep of the rival Twins. The White Sox took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning before reliever Jose Ruiz allowed a solo homer and then back-to-back singles with one out. That caused White Sox manager Tony La Russa to turn to Hendriks.
Signed by the White Sox to a $54-million contract in January, Hendriks has a 2.93 ERA and seven saves, including three in which he has pitched more than an inning in relief. After winning their sixth straight and sweeping the Twins, the White Sox own baseball's best record at 22-13.
"Hopefully we can do something special and keep this going the rest of the season," Hendriks said.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.