The White Sox were due for a flat performance. Mark Buehrle was due to give up more than three runs in a start. Pity they had to occur simultaneously.
After smashing Fausto Carmona the first two times they faced him, the White Sox couldn't put together an attack tonight. Carmona's sinker didn't just induce a boatload of groundballs (16 groundouts, three flyouts), but he also found a way to get swings and misses, as the Sox struck out six times on the evening.
Carmona held the Sox to just four hits and three walks over 8 1/3 innings. Alexei Ramirez's second-inning solo shot on a hanging changeup prevented a blanking, but the Sox fell back to .500 nevertheless.
Buehrle, on the other hand, was done in by singles. He gave up 12 hits over 7 1/3 innings, but only two of them were good for extra bases.
And it was a bunt single -- and perhaps a bad decision by Buehrle -- that sealed his fate.
With nobody out in the seventh and the Sox trailing 2-1, Michael Brantley squared up for a sac bunt to move a runner into scoring position. He popped it up in the direction of first base, falling to the ground about 65 feet away from the plate. Buehrle thought he had a shot at the double play, but he wasn't able to get his mitt turned around, and he jammed it into the grass. Instead of playing for one out, the Sox didn't have a play on either.
A single and a sac fly later, the Indians had a 4-1 lead. Though, based on the effort the Sox showed at the plate, two runs probably would have been enough regardless.