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White Sox 9, Padres 3: Crazy 8th inning leads Sox to victory

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In a battle of two rebuilding teams, San Diego demonstrates their tanking prowess.

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox
Melky Cabrera’s two-run single gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead in the eighth. Chicago would score five more times that inning.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Despite having an awful season, San Diego Padres starting pitcher Jered Weaver was again terrific against the Chicago White Sox. After living dangerously in the first inning with the bases loaded and no outs, all the Sox could muster was one run on Avisail Garcia's double play grounder. After that, nothing from the South Siders.

Jose Quintana, who is having an up-and-down season, pitched six scoreless innings and appeared to be OK with just a one-run lead heading into the seventh inning.

Weaver finished with his best line of the season: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. However, he was still in line for the loss until Quintana ran out of gas in the seventh inning. After the dreaded leadoff walk and an Austin Hedges single put runners on the corners with no outs, Hunter Renfroe smashed a high fastball to right field for a three-run homer. For a star pitcher trying to get his season on track, was staring at losing his sixth game of the season.

Then the bottom of the eighth inning happened, which might be the dumbest half inning of professional baseball I've seen.

After Leury Garcia had led off with a ground out, both Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu walked with Avisail Garcia up to bat. Just like he did with the bases loaded, Avi hit a routine grounder to shortstop Luis Sardinas that was a tailor made double play ball. Instead, Sardinas fumbled the grounder, and all runners were safe giving Todd Frazier an opportunity with the bases loaded.

Padres pitcher Ryan Buchter didn't give Frazier anything to hit and walked him on five pitches. Everyone trotted 90 feet, and the Sox were only down 3-2. San Diego brought in Brandon Maurer in for relief which promoted Sox manager Rick Renteria to lift Matt Davidson for Melky Cabrera to pinch hit. A smart move that paid off as Cabrera's broken-bat single scooted underneath Wil Myers to right field, scoring two and giving the Sox a 4-3 lead. Shockingly, in his eighth start that meant Jose Quintana received his first no-decision of 2017.

Oh, but the craziness was just getting started. With runners on first and second, Tyler Saladino opted to sacrifice bunt. A poor attempt as he popped up the pitch to Wil Myers for the second out. After checking to see both runners went back to their bases, Myers turned his back on Frazier was standing on third. Nonchalantly, Myers tossed the ball to Maurer right at the moment Frazier sprinted for home.

Maurer's throw was late, and Cabrera took second. Even though Saladino didn't get the bunt down, the play resulted in Frazier scoring on a popped out bunt. For those curious on how to score this, it ended up being a fielder's choice. I guess that's one way to describe how Myers handled that play.

Now with a two-run lead, Omar Narvaez walked which it made four walks for the Sox that inning. Willy Garcia singled to right scoring Cabrera, and the Sox had a 6-3 lead. Another pitching change as Craig Stammen replaced Maurer, but he was no better. On a 2-2 pitch, Leury Garcia hit a double to the right-center gap scoring both Narvaez and Willy Garcia to extend the lead to 8-3. Leury Garcia would come around to score on Yolmer Sanchez's single, putting the Sox up by six runs, 9-3.

After Jose Abreu had walked (5th walk of the inning) and a pitch hit Avisail Garcia, again the bases were loaded for Todd Frazier. His fly ball to center was caught by Manuel Margot at the fence finally ending the inning.

Five walks, four hits, one HBP, one error, and one brainfart lead to eight runs in the eighth inning.

The White Sox are now 17-18 on the season as they embark on a 10-game west coast road trip beginning in Anaheim. After the game, Cody Asche was demoted to Charlotte with a corresponding move to be announced tomorrow. Rumor has it that it's for pitching help, but it is also the first day that the Sox can call up Yoan Moncada and gain an extra year of control. Stay tuned.

Record: 17-18 | Box Score | Play-by-Play | Video