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A Royal Comeback

There's no such thing as a routine victory for the White Sox anymore, or at least it seems that way. For the second straight night, the Sox pulled out a victory over the Royals in a game it looked like they had no business winning.

Javier Vazquez followed up Jose Contreras poor start with a stinker of his own, allowing 11 hits and 6 runs before being pulled with 2 outs in the 6th. He allowed the first 3 batters of the night to reach base safely, and had the Sox in a 1-0 hole before he retired a batter. That hole grew to 5-0 before the Sox got their first hit in the 4th inning.

I'm not sure what's wrong with Vazquez. I assume there is something mechanically wrong (or at least that's my hope), because he's recorded a quality start in just one of his last 7 starts.

Carlos Quentin had the Sox 2nd and 3rd hits of the night with two 2-runs homers to bring put them within a run after the 6th. From there it would turn into a battle of bullpens. And even though the Sox are a man down, that's still advantage Sox.

Things really got interesting in the 8th. With the Sox still trailing by a run, Jermaine Dye at the plate, and Quentin and Orland Cabrera occupying 1st and 2nd, respectively, Cabrera stole 3rd easily. One Star Sudoku easy. Dye, perhaps distracted by Cabrera's ridiculously large jump, swung at what should have been ball one, and glared down to third base. He struck out one pitch later and again stared down Cabrera at 3rd as he walked to the dugout.

Jim Thome picked up a single through the shift to drive in OC, tie the game, and pick up JD. When OC returned to the dugout, however, he didn't receive a warm welcome from everyone. I made sure to watch as OC entered the dugout because I could already sense something brewing, but I never saw JD, who might have been up the tunnel in the clubhouse at the time. At some point during the next at-bat, Comcast's cameras caught OC yelling from one end of the dugout, and being physically restrained by Dewayne Wise and Jose Contreras. A moment later Jermaine Dye walks into screen, exchanging words and pantomiming a swing or a slide, or something, anyway.

I don't really understand what JD was complaining about. Sure, he may have been distracted by Cabrera's steal. Sure, he was in an 0-2 hole. But the tying run was only 90 feet away, and he had a chance to drive that run in without a hit. In fact, the value of a runner on 3rd base shown through immediately following the confrontation, as Ramon Ramirez balked in the eventual game-winning run with Paul Konerko (0-4, 4K) at the plate.

The Jenks-less Sox bullpen rebounded from an off-night with a stellar 3.1 innings of 2-hit baseball. Adam Russell, who has pitched in a grand total of 3 high-leverage situations this season, picked up his third victory*, while Octavio Dotel got an opportunity to pick up his first save of the year. Dotel needed just 10 pitches to strike out the side, as the Sox escaped with their 7th straight victory over Kansas City.

They're not all pretty, but they all look the same once they end up in the 'W' column.

* Russell needs to pitch more. He's an automatic victory, or the opposite of complete game by a Sox starting pitcher.