Another fine starting effort squandered by terrible managing and a homer happy closer. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
If you were at work or doing something else during todays game, I am jealous of you. Any White Sox fan who watched this game immediately had their life shortened by three months. Hector Santiago blew a 4-2 lead in the 14th inning as Yoenis Cespedes tied it at 4 with a two run homer and Kila Ka'aihue won it with a blooper down the left field line.
However, this game was blown many times before then. The Sox had numerous opportunities to win this game and couldn't get it done. The Sox had scoring opportunities in the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 13th and just came away with one damn run in all of those innings combined.
In the 2nd, Paul Konerko lead off with a single. With A.J. Pierzynski up, a pitch squibbed past Kurt Suzuki. A.J. waved Konerko to 2nd and he was thrown out. A.J. followed with a single and Alex Rios laced a double putting men at 2nd and 3rd, but Kosuke Fukudome lined out and Brent Morel struck out to end the inning.
In the 7th, Rios singled to right with one out. Fukudome hit a blast into left center field that Cespedes couldn't make the play on. Rios hustling all the way was able to beat the throw from Chad Pennington. Fukudome took 3rd on the throw. Unfortunately, Robin Ventura called for a suicide squeeze that Brent Morel pulled his bat back on and hung Fukudome out to dry. Then Morel K'd to end the inning.
In the 8th, Eduardo Escobar led off with a walk and took 2nd on a wild pitch. Ventura, who still hadn't figured out to not bunt, had De Aza try to lay one down. The pitch hit him in the arm and I thought Ventura's bunting obsession meant a broken hand for De Aza. Thankfully that didn't happen, but De Aza proceeded to strike out. With one out and a man on 2nd, Ramirez chopped to third and Dunn popped out to end the inning.
In the 10th, Morel lead off with an infield single. Ventura had Escobar bunt. Of course it didn't work as Suzuki hopped on it and threw Morel out at 2nd. De Aza followed with a line out and Ramirez bounced out to end the inning.
In the 11th, Pierzynski hit a swinging bunt with 2 outs that A's pitcher Jordan Norberto fielded and threw down the right field line allowing Pierzynski into 3rd base. After an intentional walk to Rios, Ventura pinch hit Dayan Viciedo for Fukudome. Viciedo struck out.
In the 12th, Dunn lead off with a double to right and Konerko was put on intentionally. With Lillibridge and Beckham put in to pinch run for both members of Donkey Kong, Ventura called on A.J. to lay down another bunt. Pierzynski pulled his bat back and Lillibridge got caught off of 2nd base for an out. A.J. then popped out to short. With 2 outs, Rios hit a laser down the third base line that got caught up in the bullpen area. Fearing another Ventura bunt attempt, Joe McEwing waved Beckham home all the way from first. Shortstop Chad Pennington ran down the ball fired it perfectly to 3rd baseman Eric Sogard who gunned down Beckham by a step at the plate to end the inning.
The good news about this game was the pitching besides Santiago. Chris Sale threw 8 strong innings, allowing only 2 runs in the 6th on a Josh Reddick double and Cespedes single. Addison Reed, Matt Thornton, Will Ohman and Nate Jones all held the A's scoreless until Santiago was summoned to close the game.
Paul Konerko also recorded his 400th home run in dramatic fashion. With the Sox trailing 2-1 in the 9th, Konerko murdered a Grant Balfour offering deep to left field to tie the game. Unfortunately, it's just a footnote in today's wild adventure.
The Sox finally plated some runs in the top of the 14th when Viciedo reached on a Sogard error. After Morel laid down a sac bunt, Escobar popped to right. De Aza followed with a walk and Ramirez laced a Jim Miller fastball into the gap to score 2 runs and give the Sox a short lived 4-2 lead.
Santiago got Sogard out on strikes, but Josh Reddick singled, which brought up Cespedes who tied it with a dinger. Seth Smith, Suzuki and Ka'aihue all singled and the game finally ended.
Ventura put all the practices he learned from former Sox manager Terry Bevington in place for this game.
Record: 10-8 | Box