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White Sox 2, Cardinals 3: Closer blows a close game

White Sox fall in a tightly contested battle

MLB: Chicago White Sox at St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals struck first, with their first hitter of the game, when Tommy Pham lead off with a home run against James Shields.

The White Sox countered in the fourth inning. With Trayce Thompson on second, and Adam Engel on first, James Shields had a fairly terrible at bat, but as he struck out, Thompson noticed the Cardinals forgot about him and stole second base. With Yoan Moncada up to bat, Engel stole second, putting two runners in scoring position. Yo-yo came through, plating them both as a double got under the glove of the sliding left fielder Marcell Ozuna.

The Sox held the 2-1 lead until the bottom of the ninth inning, thanks to some good pitching from Shields and solid defense behind him. The bullpen wiggled out of trouble in both the seventh and eighth inning, as Bruce Rondon allowed two hits in the seventh, including a leadoff double, and a wild Nate Jones walked two in the eighth, with the Cardinals finally catching up to them and closer Joakim Soria in the bottom of the ninth.

First, Matt Carpenter hit his 100th career homer to tie it. Soria struck out the next batter, but then Marcell Ozuna watched a triple turn into a double as he jogged out of the batter’s box. Ultimately it didn't matter, as Yadier Molina singled to drive home the winning run.

Shields pitched really well after the leadoff home run, only allowing one more hit in six innings of work, with no walks and four strikeouts.

Yoan Moncada went 2-for-5 and appears to be turning into the ballplayer we all wanted him to be.

The Sox and Cards take the field tomorrow afternoon to finish up this two-game set, before the Cards host the team from Chicago they are more accustomed to.

The closers stole the credit tonight, with Bud Norris earning the win and Soria taking the L.