Hawk Harrelson likes to say that teams beat themselves more often than they lose outright.
Tonight’s game was the kind of game he probably has in mind. The Astros beat the White Sox 4-3, and all four runs stemmed from White Sox mistakes. The first three originated as walks, and the fourth via a fly ball that Adam Engel should have caught on the center field warning track, but instead turned into a one-out triple that came home for the decisive run.
Granted, the White Sox weren’t exactly a force on offense. They were outhit 9-4, and Yoan Moncada’s two-run homer on a rolling slider in the third inning was the only hit they could muster in six innings off Brad Peacock.
Yet they had a shot to score the tying run in both the eighth and ninth innings. In the former, Yolmer Sanchez doubled home Tim Anderson with two outs, but Moncada struck out. In the latter, Nicky Delmonico reached on an infield single. Alen Hanson replaced him on a fielder’s choice for the second out, then stole second, but Omar Narvez struck out to end the game.
So a very sloppy seventh inning by the White Sox ended up settling it. Gregory Infante started it with a strikeout, but when Jace Fry came in to face Josh Reddick, he gave up a hard-hit ball to center field. Engel got a great jump, but whether it was the long run or the approaching fence, his glove couldn’t find the ball when it arrived. Al Alburquerque then came in, but Jose Altuve then singled through a drawn-in Anderson to make it a 4-2 game.
Altuve should’ve been picked off for the second out, but Narvaez threw wide when he could have just lobbed a throw to first to start a rundown. That put a runner on third with one out, but Alburquerque induced two more grounders to short, and Anderson handled both of them to end the inning.
James Shields took the loss, and he seemed to make the game harder on himself, although maybe that’s a byproduct of facing a team that leads the league in homers yet also boasts the fewest strikeouts.
In the second he walked Carlos Correa on five pitches to start it, and Correa came home on a pair of singles, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.
After the Sox took the lead in the fourth on Moncada’s blast, Shields gave the two runs right back, and all after two outs and a 1-2 count. He threw three straight out of the zone to Marwin Gonzalez, and followed that up with a five-pitch walk to Evan Gattis. Shields then got ahead of Yuli Gurriel 1-2, but fell into a full count before throwing him a get-me-over curve that Gurriel smacked into the gap to score both runners, giving the Astros a lead they didn’t lose.
The White Sox’ defeat, coupled with a Phillies win, flipped their order in the draft standings. The Sox are now second, one game behind/ahead of the Giants.
Record: 60-91 | Box score