White Sox 6, Tigers 4: Four straight, in spite of themselves

The White Sox should have won this won by at least a half-dozen runs.

They could have also just as easily lost it.

Also, Juan Pierre homered.

That about sums up a ballgame that was pretty stupid from the get-go. In the bottom of the first, the White Sox loaded the bases with nobody out, and they only came away with one run -- and they only came away with it because Andy Oliver didn't know how many outs there were when he caught Alex Rios' tapper back to the mound. He casually threw to first instead of starting a 1-2-3 double play, or a 1-6-3 double play. Both were available.

Making matters worse, that was the first of two bases-loaded-nobody-out situations blown by the Sox. They didn't even get one run across in the fifth, as Juan Pierre check-swinged a bouncer to third for a fielder's choice, and Alexei Ramirez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

They were only 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position on the night. At least Carlos Quentin made his half of the successes count, as he shot a hanging slider into the White Sox bullpen for a three-run shot, which gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead.

It should have been more, because Oliver was terrible. He was a one-pitch pitcher for most of the night. He walked five batters and plunked another along with six hits over 3 2/3 innings, but the Sox could only touch him up for those four runs.

As a result, the Sox could never get away from the Tigers. Mark Buehrle, who pitched a decent game, crushed the hopes of an easy victory when he gave up three runs a half-inning later. Matt Thornton also had some misadventures, nearly walking Brennan Boesch (who he was brought in to face) in the seventh, then loading the bases with one out in the eighth.

Fortunately, the one constant on the evening was fine defense.

Earlier in the game, Brent Morel had made three outstanding plays -- two full-extension dives to his left, and a backhanded flop towards the line -- that killed a couple of Detroit rallies. A.J. Pierzynski also threw out a couple of runners -- Brennan Boesch on a steal attempt, and Miguel Cabrera when he tried advancing on a pitch in the dirt.

In the eighth, Pierre came up with one of his own. Thornton had been sweating, but Ozzie Guillen left him in to get through Alex Avila. He's a guy who has killed the Sox on a couple of occasions, and off the bat, it looked like he did it again. However, Pierre raced back and snared the liner before crashing into the wall for the second out.

Finally, Guillen called for Sergio Santos, who froze Ramon Santiago with a snapping slider to end the eighth.

And even though Pierre gave Santos more breathing room with a solo shot to right off Enrique Gonzalez, Santos provided his own drama an inning later when he issued a leadoff walk. Thankfully, he rebounded to retire the other three batters, getting Cabrera to strike out swinging to end it.

Notes:

*Adam Dunn finally collected his first hit off a lefty. Of course, it was on an infield single, as he beat Charlie Furbush to the bag.

*Alex Rios was particularly terrible. He did go 1-for-4 (of course), but he stranded five runners. The aforementioned chopper to the mound caused him to let loose some rage in the dugout, but when he came up in the third with runners on second and third and nobody out, he popped out to first. The Sox failed to score.

*Along with his three great defensive plays, Morel had three hits.

*Brent Lillibridge hit a solo shot, too, his seventh homer of the year.

Record: 28-31 | Box score | Play-by-play

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