For two innings, the White Sox appeared to be rejuvenated by the return to U.S. Cellular Field. They tagged Jake Arrieta for three runs in the second -- only the second time in the last 14 games they've scored in the first third of the game.
And it was satisfying how they did it. Adam Dunn led off the inning with a tough walk, fouling off a few full-count pitches he couldn't catch up to last week. A.J. Pierzynski followed with a homer. See? Walks have value.
The boys didn't stop there! Mark Teahen lined a two-out, opposite-field double, and came around to score when Juan Pierre's pop-up dropped in front of Luke Scott, who thought Robert Andino was going to make the grab. The White Sox led 3-0! Wow!
Given a good-sized early lead, John Danks didn't know what to do. So he did the only thing he knows how to do: not win. Thus started a series of kicks to the junk (ladybusiness included).
Junk Kick No. 1: Given that 3-0 lead, Danks immediately lets the Orioles back in the ballgame. Among the highlights - Paul Konerko is unable to get a handle on a cutoff throw that would've had Mark Reynolds out easily at the plate, and Derrek Lee dropping a ducksnort single to left after Andino beat out a potential double-play ball.
Junk Kick No. 2: Luke Scott robs Alexei Ramirez of a homer (although it was as easy as the task could look) in the bottom of the third. That starting a string of warning-track flies - Adam Dunn just missed a homer, and Paul Konerko teased with a deep flyout with the bases loaded. Jake Arrieta didn't have much, but Sox hitters didn't have enough.
Junk Kick No. 3: Scott took the homer he stole and added it to Baltimore's tally, as he led off the fourth with a solo shot. That tied the game at 3.
Junk Kick Nos. 4 and 5: With two outs in the sixth inning, John Danks throws a perfect curve in the dirt to strike out Mark Reynolds. Even though it split the plate, Pierzynski couldn't block it. It ricocheted off his wrist and to the backstop, allowing Reynolds to reach.
Danks has had enough trouble recording three outs in the sixth inning - how could anybody expect him to record a fourth? He fell behind Matt Wieters, grooved a 3-0 pitch, and Wieters knocked it deep into the left field stands. Baltimore led 5-3, and Danks was on his way to Oh-and-Foursville.
Junk Kicks No. 6 and 7: After Brent Lillibridge (of all people) found a way to clear the fence to make it a one-run game, Jesse Crain starts off the seventh with a four pitch walk. That's the first of three he issued in the inning. The last came with the bases loaded, after Alexei Ramirez couldn't find the ears on a roller that should've been the third out.
Junk Kicks No. 7, 8, and oh, who cares: Chris Sale relieves Crain and gives up a two-run double. Then he walks a batter. Then he gives up a two-run double. And then he walks a batter.
One more for good measure: Down 10-4, the White Sox bullpen retires the last seven Orioles it faced.
*Prior to the defensive lapses, Mark Teahen continued his surprisingly solid defensive play by making a diving stab to his right, popping up and making a strong throw to first.