Paul Sullivan: Chicago White Sox are on a roll after completing 3-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays

Pedro Grifol had a good night of sleep Saturday, relatively speaking, after the Chicago White Sox’s walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

“I love winning,” the Sox manager said Sunday morning. “I don’t sleep much anyways, but absolutely. This is what it’s about. At this level, it’s about winning, and when you win a couple in a row, you’re definitely going to feel a hell of a lot better than when you’re not.”

Imagine how Grifol snoozes after a three-game win streak.

There was joy in Mudville on Sunday after the White Sox beat the Rays 4-2 to post their first three-game win streak since last June 2-4 and improve to 6-22. With the Miami Marlins losing to the Washington Nationals to fall to 6-23, the Sox no longer have the worst record in baseball.

Dreams can come true.

“It’s only three games but winning does solve a lot of problems,” outfielder Tommy Pham said. “It brings joy in the clubhouse and the atmosphere just changes. Everybody gets that burden off their shoulders and wants to show up the next day and compete again.”

Erick Fedde (2-0) continued his hot start with a career-high 8 1/3 innings, Eloy Jiménez and Gavin Sheets had three hits apiece, Andrew Benintendi drove in two insurance runs and rookie Jordan Leasure notched his first career save.

While Fedde fell short of a complete game after giving up a run in the ninth, he was brilliant throughout, allowing two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts to pick up where he left off in South Korea. And it took only 2 hours, 6 minutes.

“There’s always thoughts in the back of the head of ‘Is it still going to play here? Is it still going to work out?'” Fedde said. “But I think it’s just proof of such a different player I am now. Looking back a couple of years ago if you told me I was striking out close to double digits and going deep in games, it would probably be a chuckle a little. It’s what I’ve dreamed to do, it’s what I wanted to do, and now it’s just keep going.”

After a nice turnout of 28,009 on Saturday, lured by a pub crawl and hockey shirt giveaway, an announced crowd of 12,669 diehards showed up on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to see if the Sox could sweep their first series since beating the Detroit Tigers on June 2-4, 2023. Their last three-game win streak was Aug. 5-7, 2023.

After a brutal offensive month, the Sox average climbed to .207, and Pham’s presence has helped take some pressure off Jiménez and Benintendi.

“We’ve got some new life in the dugout,” Fedde said. “Tommy’s been great. I think this team has tons of potential and tons of quality. (Benintendi) is hitting, Eloy and Sheets. When the middle of your lineup is hitting like they are and there’s guys getting on base … It’s tough when everyone’s slumping, but now I feel like the law of averages and guys are starting to swing better and we have some confidence.”

It’s still a long climb back to relevancy. The pregame player introductions elicited few cheers, even for Benintendi, who homered twice Saturday, including the two-run, walk-off home run in the 10th.

The Sox made their bed with a horrendous start for the ages, and now they’ll have to spend the next five months lying in it. There’s no getting around that for Grifol or the players or Sox fans upset about a season that’s over before the end of April. At least Grifol and his players are paid to be there.

Disgruntled fans have two options: deal with it like your parents and grandparents did in previous bad eras, or find something else to do with your summer. For those who do remain, games like Saturday night’s comeback win can be appreciated on their own merit, especially after all the losing that preceded it.

“We all needed that,” one Sox executive said Sunday.

Perhaps no one needed it more than new Sox broadcaster John Schriffen, whose game-winning description of Benintendi’s walk-off home run included the bizarre new catchphrase, “Say it proud, for all the haters, South Side, stand up.” Or for ESPN-AM1000 host Connor McKnight, who told listeners Saturday they were canceling the postgame show “for a postgame party.”

A little perspective, please. There’s still a lot of digging out left before the Sox can party or call out their “haters.”

After a start like this one, the real onus is on Sox Park employees to make sure the fans who do come out are enjoying themselves. A stroll around the concourse Sunday revealed the Sox are fortunate to have many such employees, from face painters in left field to churro sellers to milkshake makers.

One worker at an empty beer concession stand called me over and said: “Sir, you look like you need a beer.” It was a lucky guess. I declined the offer to pay $12.95 for a beer, but the sentiment was appreciated.

The Sox are going to be a team in flux for the next several months. Fedde’s performance aside, the lack of innings from Sox starters will force a lot of movement between Charlotte and Chicago, so better get used to it.

They called up veteran starter Brad Keller and reliever Prelander Berroa on Sunday from Triple-A Charlotte while optioning Jonathan Cannon to Charlotte and designating Deivi Garcia for assignment. Keller will be in the bullpen for now, Grifol said, but will likely join the rotation later this week.

Cannon got only three starts, but Grifol said he believes the right-hander be back. Grifol said this philosophy works better than “leaving guys up here just to leave them” up to gain experience. We’ll see.

Pham, who has not experienced a loss since being called up Friday, may have found a home after being left unwanted by teams all winter. Most assume he’ll be dealt in July if he performs, but who knew he’d become a clubhouse leader in only three days?

Does he want to stick around?

“Winning always helps, right?” Pham said.

So why did it take so long for Pham to get a job?

“What took me so long? I had offers in spring training that I turned down,” he said. “I just felt like financially I was worth more money, and it just didn’t happen that way. This is a great opportunity for me to go out and show everybody that maybe I’m right.

“Success is the ultimate revenge.”

The White Sox could use that as their mantra.

But first, they have to have some more success.