The only other time the White Sox had seen Tyson Ross, is was in the painful, 2-1 loss to Oakland on April 11. Ross picked up the win with three easy innings of relief, holding the Sox scoreless by allowing just a single and a walk.
With Ross on the mound again today, the Sox reverted to early-season form. It was just a sloppy game in all respects. The misfiring offense wasn't nearly enough to support a shaky Gavin Floyd, who seemed to have problems pitching from the stretch, and the defense had some head-scratching moments, too.
How could I forget the baserunning? That's actually what killed the Sox's chances in this one.
Oakland held a 2-0 lead in the fourth, and its pitchers started the game by retiring nine of the first 10 White Sox. But a rally started in promising fashion as Alexei Ramirez drew a leadoff walk, and Adam Dunn moved him to third with a double down the right-field line.
Up came Paul Konerko, who fell behind 0-2 and shifted into right-field mode. He tried taking a high fastball that way, but he hit a soft, sinking liner that Darin Barton scooped before it hit the ground.
Ramirez ... I don't know what Ramirez was doing. He was going on contact, except he wasn't. He shuffled and stuttered toward home all the while, and when he saw that Barton caught it, he was too far off the bag. Ramirez was doubled up, and Carlos Quentin struck out swinging to end the inning.
David DeJesus made the Sox pay in the fifth. He had runners on first and second with one out, but fell behind 1-2. Floyd could not locate a good strike three. He spiked a curve in the dirt, and then grooved a belt high fastball that DeJesus roped into the right-field gap for a two-run triple. It was his 1,000th career hit, and it seems like one-third of them have come against the Sox.
Kurt Suzuki then drove in DeJesus with a single on a 2-0 count, and Floyd's day was over. He allowed five runs on nine hits and a pair of walks over 4 1/3 innings.
At least Konerko made up for his inability to drive in the runner on third. He put the only two runs on the board with a line-drive homer to left field in the sixth inning. Any other potential rallies were cut short - Ramirez grounded into a double play in the eighth, and Dunn was left on base after a leadoff double in the ninth.
The defense didn't end up killing the Sox, but it wobbled, too. Ramirez bobbled a bases-loaded grounder in the first, which could have been a crippler, but he ended up recovering and firing to first to end the inning.
Quentin racked up the only error, leading to an unearned run in the seventh. DeJesus held up on a ball too shallow to turn into a sacrifice fly, but that didn't stop Quentin from airmailing the throw over everybody's head. That was the only run allowed by the bullpen over 4 2/3 innings. Tony Pena passed his first Jeff Gray test despite walking three batters, and Chris Sale worked around a pair of walks, himself.