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Blue Jays 7, White Sox 3: Pitching shortage a problem

James Shields hits wall in sixth, and bullpen offers no relief

Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

There are some games that remind White Sox fans that their team is missing half its original bullpen.

After a day of surviving several warning-track flies, James Shields surrendered a fly that had just enough distance to doink off the top and the wall and over for a game-tying two-run shot with two outs in the sixth.

Under normal circumstances, Rick Renteria might’ve taken the ball from Shields after Troy Tulowitzki rolled a grounder off third base to keep the inning alive. He had pitched 5 23 sound innings after missing two months with a strained lat, and he’d dodged enough bullets while holding a 3-1 lead.

But when Anthony Swarzak came in and gave up two well-struck hits -- a single and triple -- on his fastball that gave Toronto a 4-3 lead, it showed that Renteria didn’t have a whole lot of great choices to get through the next couple innings. That point was then hammered home in the seventh, when Dan Jennings gave up a titanic two-run homer to Kendrys Morales, and Michael Ynoa allowed the first three batters he faced to reach as Toronto posted another three-run frame.

The White Sox offense only had one three-run inning in it. Willy Garcia led off the fifth with a single through middle, then took third on Kevan Smith’s single through the right side. Yolmer Sanchez then came through with a single to center for the game’s first run.

Melky Cabrera bunted both runners to third, a questionable decision by somebody considering you’d want him swinging the bat instead of Tim Anderson, who followed by striking out. Jose Abreu made it a moot point, winning an eight-pitch battle by scooting a single past a diving Tulowitzki for two more runs.

The Blue Jays answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Steve Pearce singled, and Todd Frazier couldn’t handle Ryan Goins’ hot shot to third. It fortuitously caromed to Anderson for a 5-6-3 putout at first, but Kevin Pillar’s RBI single emphasized how nice a double play would’ve been, although it was a difficult one.

Bullet points:

*The game got a little goofy. Swarzak made a 3-1 putout by blindly stopping a comebacker that then bounced off his back. The box score shows a Frazier stolen base, but only because Matt Davidson started discarding his armor on ball three, and Frazier started drifting toward second. He then took off for second when Martin threw behind him to first, but Justin Smoak’s attempt to get him at second hit Frazier in the back.

*Avisail Garcia and Davidson were both 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Record: 31-37 | Box score | Highlights