The Chicago White Sox found themselves fumbling for explanations after bumbling several batted balls on Monday, as a porous defense keyed a 9-0 whitewash by the Oakland A’s.
The game was halted after 4 1⁄2 innings, as umpires invoked a so-called “mercy rule” to end the debauchery.
The White Sox earlier on Monday had trounced the A’s under almost identical circumstances, resulting in a called game after four innings, with Chicago the victor, 9-0.
Danny Farquhar hoped to put a rough start to the spring behind him, starting this de facto doubleheader nightcap and getting into trouble immediately by allowing a Marcus Semien single and Jed Lowrie homer.
The closest the White Sox would come to extending the offensive mauling that marked Game 1 came in the top of the second, in the form of a two-out rally. Matt Davidson and Nicky Delmonico singled, with Ryan Cordell walking to load the bases. But Oakland reliever Ryan Buchter lured Leury Garcia into a tap out to third base to escape the jam.
It was all Oakland from there — with several assists from a shaky Chicago defense.
In the sixth, Chisox reliever Xavier Cedeno was the victim, as Ti’Quan Forbes committed a one-out throwing error that opened a two-run mini-flood to put the A’s up, 4-0.
The real damage came in the bottom of the fifth, when Oakland rallied for four runs with help from another Forbes misfire, and one from second baseman Tyler Saladino to boot.
The play-by-play is a bit brutal, but a summary of the pitching lines is in order:
- Farquhar, two hits, two Ks and two earned runs in an inning of work.
- Cedeno, two hits, two runs, one earned, a walk and a whiff in 2⁄3 inning.
- Chris Beck, two hits, one earned run, one K in 1 1⁄3 innings.
- Ian Clarkin, three hits, four unearned runs and two walks in two innings.
All in all, the pair of 9-0 games in Mesa this afternoon had the overall effect of a 9-9 tie in the standings. But it was truly a tale of two tilts. The White Sox hope to be seeing way more of the former this spring, and none of the latter.