At least the White Sox scored their two runs tonight in a fun way.
In the third inning, Josh Phegley hit a homer in his first career at-bat at U.S. Cellular Field. That answered a Luis Valbuena sac fly the inning before, tying the game at 1.
In the fifth inning, the White Sox executed a double steal. With two outs and Jeff Keppinger at the plate, Alex Rios took off for second, and, for some reason, Dioner Navarro threw to that bag, rather than faking or just eating it. Gordon Beckham got a great jump from third when he saw Navarro's intent and scored without a throw. That answered a solo shot by Alfonso Soriano in the top of the inning to tie the game at 2.
Alas, the Sox had no answer for a bullpen collapse in the eighth inning. Matt Thornton issued a one-out walk to Soriano, and it all went downhill from there. Navarro singled, and Luis Valbuena cashed them both in with a double to give the Cubs the lead, and they piled on from there. It didn't matter that Thornton gave way to Nate Jones, because Jones had the same fortune -- retiring the first batter, and the next four reached.
By the time Ramon Troncoso struck out Anthony Rizzo -- who also made the first out of the inning -- the Cubs had posted five runs to break open the game. Then they added one more against Addison Reed in the ninth for good measure.
The White Sox offense had no such pop against Matt Garza. Phegley's homer was the first White Sox hit of the ballgame, and they only had a runner in scoring position in two other innings. Alexei Ramirez doubled with one out in the fifth but didn't advance, and they needed the double steal to get the run home in the sixth.
Either way, Hector Santiago escapes as an innocent bystander. He didn't pitch poorly, but he didn't last long, either. Robin Ventura pulled him after 5 1/3 innings and 101 pitches, over which he allowed two runs on five hits, two walks and a hit batsman. He also threw more screwballs than I ever recall seeing, and it'll be interesting to see whether the Pitch f/x data backs it up when that pitch is separated from his changeups.
- Besides the home run, Phegley also came through with a pickoff at first base after a strikeout, which is his first standout defensive play. He erased a Julio Borbon leadoff walk when Borbon got a ridiculously risky secondary lead, and Phegley made him pay.
- The start of the game was delayed 29 minutes due to rain, but the game went uninterrupted save for the occasional thunderclap.