Paul Konerko connects for his 2,000th hit. It was one of the only bright spots in a game that the team made more mistakes than WU did when he typed his thesis. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
In one of the worst played games of the season, the White Sox lost the opener of an important road trip 5-4. The Sox fell back below .500 at 63-64. To make matters worse, the Tigers were victorious in Tampa and now lead us by 6.5 games.
The mistakes came early and often tonight. In the bottom of the first, Peter Bourjos grounded slowly to short. Alexei Ramirez fielded the grounder and lollipopped it into the dirt at first, which proved to be too hard of a scoop for Adam Dunn to make. After Bobby Abreu struck out, Torii Hunter singled to left. Juan Pierre didn't handle it cleanly, then got it and tossed it to second. Meanwhile, Bourjos was rounding third base and scored easily.
After a Howie Kendrick home run in the 2nd made it 2-0 Angels, the Sox offense woke up against Ervin Santana. Brent Morel hit a one out single to center and came around to score on a double by Gordon Beckham. After a Pierre flyout moved Beckham to third, Alejandro De Aza hit a roller past Santana that Maicer Izturis couldn't handle cleanly, allowing Beckham to score to tie the game.
The Angels got Mark Buehrle for another run in the 3rd. Izturis doubled to lead off the inning. After a Bourjos strikeout and a Bobby Abreu comebacker, Hunter made the Sox pay again with a shot into center and the Angels took a 3-2 lead.
The Sox wasted a golden opportunity in the 4th, as Alex Rios led off with a double and Ramirez drew a walk. Unfortunately, Adam Dunn tapped a grounder to Santana who started the 1-6-3 double play and Tyler Flowers struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the 4th, the Angels scored again. Kendrick hit a long fly to center and Rios got turned around on the warning track as the ball fell and Kendrick ended up at 3rd with a triple. After Vernon Wells lined out to third, Erick Aybar flew to shallow center. Rios caught it flatfooted and fired home, just a second late to catch Kendrick.
The Sox got another one back in the 5th as Morel led off with a ground rule double down the right field line. After a Beckham groundout, Pierre came through with a single to left to bring home Morel, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Buehrle got the Angels 1,2,3 in the 5th and escaped the 6th without giving up a run. Vernon Wells hit a 2 out double down the left field line. Kendrick, who had walked, kept coming around third but the Sox were up to the challenge this time as Pierre hit Ramirez who turned and fired to Flowers, who tagged out Kendrick at the plate.
The Sox would tie up the game in the 8th when De Aza singled and stole second, which set the stage for Paul Konerko. Konerko lined a single to right field to score De Aza. It was the 2,000th hit of Konerko's career. If it didn't happen at the Cell, it was nice that it happened in Anaheim, as he hit a few of his biggest hits there during the 2005 ALCS.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th, Ozzie Guillen called on Jason Frasor. He walked Hunter and gave up a single to Mark Trumbo before retiring Kendrick. Hawk Harrelson mentioned many times, and it was clearly evident, that Frasor didn't have his stuff tonight and was a one pitch pitcher.
After the Sox went out meekly in the top of the 9th, Frasor was sent out for the bottom half. It wasn't pretty. Wells struck out leading off the inning. Aybar followed with a single. Albert Callaspo then singled to left field. Aybar took third on the hit and Beckham left second base so Callaspo trotted into second. They intentionally walked Izturis to bring up Bourjos, who ended the game with a smash single to left field.
* Tyler Flowers made a big mistake on the bases. He singled with one out in the 7th and Morel followed with a slow chopper that Izturis fielded and threw to first for the out. Flowers, who was at 2nd when Izturis threw to first, kept going and was gunned out at 3rd for the final out of the inning.
* I don't know what in the hell Guillen was doing leaving Frasor in the game. Stone and Harrelson both made comments that signaled they didn't know why he was still in either. He didn't have it and was left out there to dry like the game didn't mean anything. Awful.
WP: Jordan Walden
LP: Jason Frasor
HR: Howie Kendrick
Record 63-64 | G.B. 6.5 | Box