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Tigers 9, White Sox 8; See You in 2012

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Ozzie Guillen smiles as his mission to self destruct the White Sox is now complete. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Ozzie Guillen smiles as his mission to self destruct the White Sox is now complete. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
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The White Sox finally jumped all over Brad Penny, taking an 8-1 lead after 4 1/2 innings.  Gavin Floyd and the bullpen couldn't hold it and Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera each homered in the 9th to unofficially end the White Sox 2011 season.  

With an 8-1 lead, Gavin Floyd came out and coughed up 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th on a Carlos Guillen single, an Austin Jackson triple and a Delmon Young homer as the Tigers cut it to 8-4.  In the 7th, it was Betemit again, who homered off of Will Ohman as the lead dwindled to 8-5.  

Chris Sale came in for the 8th inning and gave up a one out double to Victor Martinez.  After a 36 minute rain delay, Sale struck out Alex Avila, but Jhonny Peralta singled Martinez home to chop it to 8-6.  

In the 9th, Ozzie Guillen called upon Sergio Santos to close the game out.  Santos had not given up a run on the road all season long, but that changed quickly.  After Betemit struck out to start the inning, Jackson hit another triple.  Raburn then homered to tie the game.  After a strikeout of Young, Cabrera absolutely murdered the first pitch for a walk off home run.  

Santos and the entire bullpen picked the worst possible game to self destruct.  The loss drops the Sox to 7.5 games back, and they have now dropped the first 2 games in this must win (some would say must sweep) series.  

The Sox offense started early as A.J. Pierzynski hit a sacrifice fly to get the Sox on the board in the first.  After Cabrera doubled home Young to tie the game at 1 in the bottom of the inning, the Sox rattled off 7 unanswered runs.

In the 4th, Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios started the inning with singles.  After 1 out, Brent Morel chopped a ball to Carlos Guillen, who fumbled the ball, as Morel was called safe at first to load the bases.  Gordon Beckham followed with a single to right to bring in Viciedo.  Juan Pierre followed with a grounder to Cabrera, who fired home for the force out, but Alex Avila drilled Pierre with the return throw to first, allowing the ball to skip away and Morel to come in and score.  Alexei Ramirez then capped off the 5 run inning with a 3 run shot that hooked around the left field pole.  

After two quick outs in the 5th, Alejandro De Aza and Brent Morel hit back to back jacks off of Penny to give the Sox the 8-1 lead.   

But Floyd and the entire bullpen couldn't hold a seven run lead.  And I cried.

*David Pauley did a masterful job in holding the Sox to 8 runs, as he entered in the 6th and allowed only a single to Pierre, who was erased on a Konerko double play.  Luis Marte got the Sox 1,2,3 in the 9th and earned his first Major League victory.

* Every White Sox starter had a hit in the ballgame besides Pierzynski, who did drive home a run with a sac fly.

* Some questionable umpiring helped aid the Sox in the 5th, as Morel was out by a half a step on Guillen's error and a case could have been made that Pierre was too far inside the baseline when Avila's throw hit him.  

* The Sox had opportunities to score even more runs.  In the third, Pierre drew a lead off walk and stole 2nd and 3rd base, but Konerko may have had the worst at bat of his career and struck out and Pierzynski grounded to 2nd to end the inning.  After the Ramirez homer in the 5th, Konerko doubled himself, but was stranded when Pierzynski grounded out to the pitcher.  

* If I ever have to hear Mitch Williams call another Sox game, I may hang myself.  

* The Sox look to salvage a game tomorrow evening and not embarrass themselves again on national T.V. as Mark Buehrle faces Max Scherzer at 7:05 on ESPN

WP: Luis Marte (1-0)

LP : Sergio Santos (3-4)

HR: Ramirez (14), De Aza (4), Morel (3)... Young (7), Betemit (6), Raburn (12), Cabrera (25)

Record: 68-68 |  G.B. 7.5  Box