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Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 1: Too much Zack Greinke

And not enough pitching or defense to compensate

Chicago White Sox v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After playing nearly flawless baseball against an underpowered Mariners team in Seattle over the last three days, the White Sox had an off night against a superior opponent. The results won’t surprise you.

In a matchup with Zack Greinke, Miguel Gonzalez cracked first, and the defense unraveled afterward. The White Sox offense, conversely, didn’t put any kind of pressure on Arizona’s starter.

Greinke was the story, coming up one out short of a complete game. He struck out 12, yet didn’t throw his 100th pitch until the second out of the ninth inning, and only a Jose Abreu double interfered with him completing it. Avisail Garcia then grounded out on the first and only pitch thrown by Archie Bradley, which ended the first and only plate appearance with a runner in scoring position, and the game as well.

The Sox avoided the shutout thanks to a solo shot by Leury Garcia, who turned on a slow 1-1 curve down and in and hammered it out to right. The Sox only had three other hits, and drew just one walk on the evening.

Gonzalez hung in with Greinke through three, but he lost Chris Owings with a two-out walk in the fourth, which put two on for Daniel Descalso. Gonzalez tried to establish strike one with a first-pitch curve, but Descalso waited back and smoked a line drive to right-center. It was going to score multiple runs either way — the question was only whether he hit it high enough to get three in. “He did” was the answer.

Leury Garcia’s homer provided a partial answer, but the Diamondbacks had all the runs they needed with the way the Sox responded — or couldn’t respond — to Greinke.

Nevertheless, Gonzalez and the Sox blundered their way into padding the Arizona lead more in the sixth. Gonzalez didn’t have much to start the inning, giving up a homer to Paul Goldschmidt and a triple to Jake Lamb. He then compounded problems with a delayed start to first base on Chris Owings’ grounder to Abreu. Abreu had shifted far off first base, so his only choice was a flip, but Owings arrived at first base before Abreu’s target.

In came Dan Jennings, who opened with a four-pitch walk to Descalso, loading the bases. It didn’t look like it’d matter when Rey Fuentes hit a grounder to short, but Tim Anderson short-armed his throw home, and Omar Narvaez couldn’t pick it cleanly, allowing Lamb to beat the force for a 5-1 lead.

Chris Beck then came in and escaped the inning without further damage after inducing two grounders the Sox actually knew what to do with, but those runs would’ve just been showing off, anyway.

Bullet points:

*The Sox committed two errors. Besides Anderson’s poor throw, a grounder clanked off Abreu’s mitt in the second inning. Abreu and Yolmer Sanchez also bumped into each other on a pop foul down the line. Everything was flat tonight.

*Sanchez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts out of the leadoff spot, snapping his hitting streak at 12 games.

Record: 20-23 | Box score | Highlights