With John Danks battling the strike zone and Sox hitters turning Matt Harrison into another guy with "plus-plus stuff," the White Sox appeared to be on the fast-track to another classic 2011 U.S. Cellular Field effort. The Sox had fallen behind 3-0 in grueling fashion, and any rally ended in a double play.
Until Brent Morel came along, that is.
He succeeded where others failed in the fifth inning. After Harrison walked two batters around a fielder's choice, Brent Morel turned on a grooved fastball and knocked it into the left field seats to tie the game at 3.
Two innings later, he kept the game tied at 3 with a beautiful diving, run-saving stab in the eighth inning. That play was Morel's second run-saving play of the game, and it allowed Cody Eppley to play the role of Kevin Jepsen. After Gordon Beckham walked and went to third on Dallas McPherson's single, he came home on a wild pitch. It's the second time this season the opposing pitcher has given the Sox their game-winning run.
Texas charity was a theme of the evening, because the Rangers' inability to bunt helped keep the deficit manageable.
Danks should have been out of the game a lot earlier. A double play allowed him to escape the first with only one run of damage, and another run scored in the second on an Alexei Ramirez error after Danks walked the bases loaded.
He needed 62 pitches to get through the first two innings, so it's a minor miracle that he was able to complete six. The Rangers helped him get back on track. After a fourth-inning sacrifice fly stretched the lead to 3-0, Craig Gentry popped up a bunt. It turned into an inning-ending double play.
One inning later, Elvis Andrus popped up his bunt attempt after Endy Chavez's leadoff double. That turned out to be huge, because he only advanced to third when Morel made a great play diving to third. Chavez only advanced to third on Morel's throw to first, and he remained stranded there.
Danks ended up with six walks to just two strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings, but he did settle down long enough for Ozzie Guillen to try to get him his first win of the season. The honor instead went to Jesse Crain, who threw an excellent 1 2/3 innings in relief, stranding the inherited runner.
Sergio Santos picked up his sixth save of the season. Fittingly enough, the last out was a hard-hit grounder to Morel.
*Adam Dunn went 0-for-4, all against left-handed pitching. He is now 0-for-26, which is one at-bat worse than Mark Kotsay's performance against lefties last year.
*Alex Rios had a Juan Pierrey game -- he grounded into a double play when it mattered, singled when it didn't, and then got picked off.