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White Sox 8, Orioles 7: Jose Abreu atones for error

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Game-winning single in ninth erases error that allowed Baltimore to tie game in eighth

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Jose Abreu's eighth-inning error cost the White Sox the lead, and Matt Albers his scoreless streak.

But thanks to Abreu's ninth-inning single, it did not cost them the game.

With two outs, he shot a single through the right side to score Adam Eaton and give the Sox their third and final lead of the game. It wouldn't have been possible without a couple strange events preceding him:

  1. Eaton dropped a drag bunt with two outs, and Zach Britton strained his hamstring in an attempt to field it, leaving the game.
  2. With Vance Worley on the mound, Eaton bluffed a steal on a 2-2 count, and Matt Wieters rose up to throw. In the process, he blocked the view of home plate umpire Carlos Torres, and a no-doubt strikeout eventually turned into a Sanchez walk.

The Sox ended up stranding the bases loaded, but unlike the eighth inning, they didn't need a multiple-run lead, as Nate Jones pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out his win.

(Now that I think of it, Eaton was almost drilled by a Melky Cabrera foul ball after he scored, then made a leaping, falling catch for the first out. He had enough action for two games in one inning.)

As for what happened before that -- where does one begin?

Well, let's go back to the inning before. The Sox trailed 5-4 against All-Star setup man Darren O'Day in the top of the eighth inning, but ended up getting to the bottom of the inning leading 7-5. Sanchez (pinch-hitting for Tyler Saladino) drilled a leadoff double. Abreu followed with a single to right scoring Sanchez, and Todd Frazier tacked on two more with a homer into the bullpen beyond the wall in left center.

In came Albers, who recorded the last out of the seventh. He started the inning by walking Jonathan Schoop, which is damned hard to do, but erased him with a Hyun Soo Kim double play. Then he should've finished his inning when Todd Frazier fielded Manny Machado's bouncer behind third base and made a strong, albeit low, throw.

Alas, it rattled out of the mitt of a stretching Abreu's mitt, keeping the inning alive. Albers then plunked Adam Jones to put the tying run aboard, and Zach Duke couldn't strand either runner. He came in to face Chris Davis, and he left a 2-2 fastball over the plate. Davis drilled a double to left center to tie the game, and Jones had to clean up the mess with a flyout.

Fortunately, the Sox showed more of their ample resolve, which is a 2016 trademark. Mat Latos blew a 3-1 lead, as he discovered that Baltimore is not a team one can hang breaking pitches to. Two solo homers in the fourth tied it, and Pedro Alvarez cashed in another hanging curve with an RBI double in the fifth, putting Latos in jeopardy of suffering his first loss of the season.

That threat became bigger when Zach Putnam gave up an RBI double to Adam Jones with a curious pitch -- an 0-2 fastball. While it was on the outside corner, it was up, and it was a carbon copy of the pitch Jones had just seen.

Yet the Sox didn't let the seventh inning pass them by. Brett Lawrie led off with a walk, stole second during Jerry Sands' at-bat, then scored two batters later on Austin Jackson's two-out single, which withstood a challenge.

Robin Ventura did not survive a challenge, as he was righteously tossed out of the game. In the third, Latos had runners on first and second with nobody out, but came back to get Jones to bounce to third. Frazier stepped on third, fired to second, and Lawrie thought about a triple play, but ultimately didn't throw.

Jones probably would've beaten it out, but Lawrie's effort was also affected by the wayward slide of Machado, who not only slid to the side of -- then past -- the bag, but also grabbed Lawrie's ankle as he went past. Ventura came out to challenge under the new rule, thinking he had the same case that allowed the Rays to end their first game of the season on Jose Bautista's heel move. The Sox appeared set for their second triple play of the month.

After a lengthy conference between the umpires, followed by a lengthy review in New York, Jones was allowed to stay on the base. Ventura came back out to argue, and he was ejected. He missed a good game.

Bullet points:

*After the Sox gave the Orioles free runs by not being able to turn a double play, the Sox scored a pair themselves because Machado threw a routine 5-4-3 double play ball into right field.

*Brett Lawrie hit his second homer of the series for the Sox' third run.

*Attention infielders: Dioner Navarro likes to throw behind runners on intentional walks. With a runner on second and two outs in the seventh inning, Saladino wasn't looking, and Putnam had runners on the corners as a result. Unlike Abreu's error, no runs scored as a result of it.

*Speaking of which, while Albers' scoreless voyage is over, both runs were unearned, so a lesser streak continues.

Record: 17-8 | Box score | Highlights