CHICAGO, IL - JULY 31: Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox falls to the dirt after being hit in the calf by a pitch against the Boston Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on July 31, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The trade deadline passed without any action, which means that barring some waiver action, this is the team everybody's stuck with.
Fittingly, the largely unchanged White Sox stayed true to themselves, losing in a familiar fashion by failing to nurse a one-run lead through more than half of the ballgame.
This time, it was Dustin Pedroia with a two-run single off Jesse Crain in the seventh inning that made the difference. After Marco Scutaro and Jacoby Ellsbury singled -- the latter off Crain's mitt -- Tyler Flowers didn't get the glove down on a fastball that skipped through the five-hole. That took the double play out of order, and Pedroia cashed in both runners with a single past the outstretched glove of a lunging Alexei Ramirez.
Alex Rios made matters worse by throwing home, which allowed Pedroia to advance to second. Unlike Saturday night, though, this time his brain fart didn't cost the Sox a run.
The White Sox had their opportunities off Andrew Miller,collecting 10 hits, a walk and a painful HBP in just 5 2/3 innings. Yet that only translated into three runs, due to a pretty lousy performance with runners in scoring position (although they've seen worse). They went 2-for-9 in the clutch, leading to 12 stranded runners overall.
Nevertheless, they were still able to grab a lead with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings. In the second, Brent Morel smacked a backspin-laden drive over the head of Jacoby Ellsbury, who didn't see it carrying that much. That scored Tyler Flowers all the way from first to make it a 2-1 game.
In the third, Rios came through with a runner on third (he's now 3-for-34 in such situations) with a single through the left side to tie the game. One inning later, Alexei Ramirez shot a single off Miller's glove and into center to give the Sox a 3-2 lead.
But they missed opportunities to add on. In the third, Flowers missed a pair of pitches in his wheelhouse before swinging and missing and a fastball up and away, stranding two. Carlos Quentin and Adam Dunn left them loaded in the fourth, with Quentin going down looking and Dunn popping out. This was the insult to Paul Konerko's injury, as he took a fastball just below the knee prior to Quentin's at-bat. That loaded the bases, but it also knocked Konerko out of the game.
That led to crazy roster switches through the end of it. Brent Lillibridge played first base for the first time in his career. He looked awkward doing it, but made no mistakes. Later on, rampant pinch-hitting forced Guillen to move Dunn to first, which eliminated the DH in the ninth inning with Jason Frasor due to hit fourth.
Papelbon made it a non-issue by striking out the side, three of the 13 strikeouts by Red Sox pitchers on the day.
The outcome ruined a pretty nice effort by Mark Buehrle, who overcame a two-run second inning homer by Jason Varitek and early inefficiency to throw six strong innings.