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White Sox 3, Angels 2 (13 innings): Sweep delayed, but not denied

Avisail Garcia delivers walk-off double to minimize the damage from a bizarre ninth inning

Jon Durr/Getty Images

Let's get the ending out of the way first. On Thursday morning, I wrote that most White Sox hitters figured out left-handed pitching with two exceptions:

That's more than enough to cover for the fluctuation in the other direction from [Jose] Abreu and Avisail Garcia, who should turn it around in time.

The 13th inning tonight was time enough. Abreu started the inning with a single off Cesar Ramos, and two batters later, Garcia scored him all the way from first with a double to the left center gap. He scored more easily than he ran, but he deserved the workout since he could've ended the game in the ninth.

That inning is what this game is really all about.

The White Sox led this one 2-1 with David Robertson on the mound, and Mike Trout and Albert Pujols retired the inning before. He started the inning by striking out Erick Aybar on a curve in the dirt. Tyler Flowers reached out to tag Aybar, who continued running to first after Flowers' swipe. Flowers stood to throw to first, only to see home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth point to Aybar and give him the out fist for the first out. Simple start, right?

Not so much. Aybar stood on first while Mike Scisocia, having been burned by a dropped third strike at U.S. Cellular Field 10 years ago, came out to protest. Aybar remained after Scioscia left, and then it was Robin Ventura's turn to complain. After hearing from the second manager, the umpires headed off to the side for a review.

The replay showed that Flowers missed the tag, but had every intent of throwing before Culbreth told him it wasn't necessary. It's not really the kind of play that replay is designed to overturn. The review said that the "out" call stood -- which might've been because there was a chance Flowers' hand grazed Aybar's pant leg, but it could've been just because Flowers had the intent to throw down before the initial confirmation. Even if it wasn't the right call initially, it was the right call in the end.

Not for Scioscia, though. He came out to complain some more, which shouldn't have been allowed. It shouldn't have been allowed close to home plate, and Robertson wasn't happy about it:

If Scioscia was icing Robertson, it kinda worked. C.J. Cron followed with a single, and Johnny Giavotella first-to-thirded him with a single to right. But the game should've been over with a Robertson save after Conor Gillaspie bounced one right to Abreu. He stepped on first, and he had pinch-runner Taylor Featherston between third and home. A throw home starts an easy game-ending rundown.

But for some reason, Abreu went to second for the double play, and Giavotella easily started his own pickle that allowed Featherson to score. Moreover, Alexei Ramirez was called for interference, even though he never touched Giavotella. The spirit of A.J. Pierzynski loomed large in this one. Robertson ended the inning by getting David Murphy to line out, but that brain fart by Abreu extended the game by a couple hours.

Credit the White Sox run prevention unit for holding up its end of the bargain. OK, don't credit Zach Duke, who walked the left-handed batter before Trout once again. That left Jake Petricka to face the middle of the Angels order. He struck out Trout, but Pujols kept the inning alive with a single through the right side. Aybar then hit a full-count sinker to center field, where Leury Garcia -- who just entered the game after Adam LaRoche pinch-hit for Trayce Thompson in the bottom of the ninth -- ran down the drive with a beautiful route to keep the Angels scoreless.

Zach Putnam pitched around a leadoff walk in the 12th with big help from Carlos Sanchez, who backhanded a David DeJesus grounder and threw across his body for the inning-ending 4-3, stranding the go-ahead run at third.

Matt Albers picked up the win for escaping two tough jams. He struck out Featherston with runners on second and third in the 12th inning, then pitched around his own leadoff error by defusing a runner-on-third-one-out situation with a strikeout and another DeJesus groundout.

The Sox spoiled opportunities of their own. A classic Gillaspie throwing error put the winning run on second with one out in the 11th, but Huston Street came in the game and got Alexei Ramirez to ground into a double play. An inning later, Tyler Saladino tried to bunt with runners on first and third, and it looked like a bad idea or a missed sign, because there wasn't even the hope of a squeeze:

But the Sox overcame their own problems, leaving John Danks' bid for a seventh win as the only collateral damage. He pitched well, allowing just one run on five hits and three walks over 7⅓ innings. The Sox also defended well behind him -- namely Saladino.  In the fifth inning, he caught a liner by Shane Victorino near third base on a hit-and-run, which allowed him to tag out the lead runner Gillaspie nonchalantly for the double play.

An inning later, he foiled the contact play. The Angels had Trout on third and Pujols on first with one out when Aybar hit a bouncer to the left side. Saladino gloved it and threw a strike home to Flowers, who placed the tag and absorbed the impact of Trout's feet-first slide for the second out. Danks then got Cron on a groundout to end the inning and preserve the 1-1 tie.

The Sox took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Saladino singled, then moved up when a hit-and-run turned an Abreu 5-4-3 double play into an around-the-horn putout at first. He then moved to third on another groundout to third (waiting for Gillaspie to throw before advancing), and after Avisail Garcia walked, Ramirez sliced a double to right field for a 2-1 lead. The White Sox should have won by that score, but a sweep is a sweep.

Record; 54-58 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights