Tonight's game was replicated from Friday night's game, only on a smaller scale. It didn't take as long, and it featured lower scoring and fewer pitchers, but the moral was the same: Giving away runs kills.
And the decisive run was even gift-ier than usual, if you can believe it.
Jose Quintana should've been out of the third inning when, with a runner on first and two outs, he got Josh Hamilton to reach out and pull a weak grounder to second. Second baseman Tyler Greene -- a late sub for Conor Gillaspie -- had no problems fielding it, but he had a big problem throwing it. He fired low, wide and past a sprawling Adam Dunn to put runners on the corners.
Quintana didn't allow another baserunner in the inning, but because these are the 2013 White Sox, the Angels stills scored. Tyler Flowers just let a low breaking ball glance off his mitt and get between his legs, and it got away far enough for Pujols to dive into the plate around Quintana's tag.
Those two boners gave the Angels the ballgame with only one-third of precincts reporting. And of course, it immediately undermined all the offense could do.
The Sox had tied up the game in the bottom of the second with one of their patented "it-hurts-us-more-than-it-hurts-you" rallies. Paul Konerko greeted Jerome Williams with a leadoff single. Two batters later, he moved to second on a Dayan Viciedo single. Then he moved to third on a Jeff Keppinger single.
He and another run would eventually, but in the incredibly unsatisfying way we all know and ... know. After Flowers popped out to the right side for the second out, Greene hit a jam shot just past the mound, and beat the throw to make it a 2-1 game.
Alejandro De Aza then followed with a palpable hit to right, but it was too palpable. It scored another run, but Josh Hamilton had an easy time throwing out Jeff Keppinger at the plate to end the inning. Joe McEwing made a poor choice on the play, although the Sox spent the last six innings showing why a third-base coach wouldn't trust an offense.
The White Sox only had one plate appearance with a runner in scoring position the rest of the way, and that's Viciedo singled Alex Rios to second with two outs in the seventh. Keppinger worked a 2-0 count from Williams, and then promptly hit a routine chopper to short.
They couldn't tie the game, and so that locked in Quintana's first loss of the season. Quintana earned the first two runs -- Darrin Jackson said Angels hitters were opening up early in anticipation of the cutter in, right before Trout belted one into the bleachers to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead two batters in.
But otherwise, he showed resilience, surviving a lot of deep counts and three errors to complete six innings, even if it took him 117 pitches. He even made a heads-up fielding play to immediately nullify the third error. He got Pujols to pop up to the right side with two outs in the fifth, but the ball drifted far enough away from Dunn, and he muffed the catch. But Pujols had rounded the bag generously as all autopilot runners do on pop-ups, and Quintana was behind him. Dunn regrouped, fired to first and got the ball to Quintana in time for the third out.
- Viciedo went 3-for-3 with a walk, and also made a nice running catch in left field.
- Keppinger, now hitting seventh, went
01-for-4 and set a new franchise record for the most plate appearances without a walk. He's at 121 after tonight, and showing no signs of slowing down.
- Alexei Ramirez gave the defense a semblance of dignity after the three errors with a nice glove flip to start a 6-4-3 double play.
- Gillaspie was a late scratch due to an upper respiratory illness.
- Konerko bobblehead night meant more people in the stands to let Dunn know how they felt about his 0-for-4, three strikeout game. Two of them his K's required only three pitches. Apiece, not combined. But I suppose that must be said, given the Sox's creativity in losing efforts.