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White Sox drop the series to the Birds in a 4-3 squeaker

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Ervin Santana struggles in his third straight start in a row

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Sad run: Tim Anderson looks a bit forlorn after scoring in the third inning, perhaps portending the doom of dropping a series to the Baltimore Orioles.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It was a snoozer of a game in Baltimore tonight as the Chicago White Sox comeback fell one run short, as the Orioles took a series between also-rans by a 4-3 score.

Ervin Santana almost made it out the first inning giving up zero runs. Dwight Smith Jr. hit a two-out double right over Adam Engel’s head, which was followed up by another double from Renato Núñez. The O’s went up 1-0, but the scoring didn't stop there, as Rio Ruiz singled to score Núñez, doubling the lead.

By just the second inning, I couldn’t stand to watch Santana pitch in another White Sox game ever again. That frame started off with a stand-up triple from Joey Rickard, Hanser Alberto then hit a sac fly, getting Rickard home to make the score 3-0.

The Sox were only able to get to John Means in the third inning, and only for one run. Tim Anderson singled to left and José Abreu doubled to score the speedster Anderson, cutting the deficit to 3-1.

The most White Sox thing to happen this game is Santana getting a hit-by-pitch overturned by replay review — and then giving up a solo shot to Stevie Wilkerson (the fake victim of a HBP) for his first MLB home run. The homer expanded the O’s lead to 4-1. Santana would last just 4 23 innings, giving up six hits, no walks and notching just one strikeout.

On the flip side, Means went five innings, only giving up four hits, one run, one walk and six strikeouts. The Sox were glad to get to the Baltimore bullpen, with Evan Phillips coming out in the sixth for Means. The Sox loaded the bases on Phillips, but were only able to come up with one run: Ryan Cordell took a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, scoring James McCann. All hail the HBP offense!

It was then battle of the Frys in Baltimore, as Jace Fry pitched for us and Paul Fry took over for the O’s. Each of the Frys went 1 13 innings, giving up just one hit. The South Side bullpen was again a plus tonight, as the Fry-Nate Jones-José Ruiz trio gave up no runs and just two hits total.

Baltimore’s Mychal Givens came in to close out the game, spurring a Sox rally that was left unfulfilled. Abreu drove in Leury García with his second double of the night, then advanced to third on a wild pitch from Givens. With the tying run was just 90 feet from home, Yoán Moncada grounded out on a close play at first, but was a step short.

(SIGH)

Here’s something to consider: Can any White Sox fan stand to watch either Iván Nova or Santana pitch another game? At what point do we give Carson Fulmer another chance, or throw Manny Bañuelos into the rotation? They can't be worse than Nova and Santana have been as of late. I can't wait for Lucas Giolito to come back and for the Sox to call up Dylan Cease.

A positive thing to take away from this series was that Abreu was on fire going 6-for-13 with seven RBIs, a home run and two doubles. Hopefully he can continue this going into the 10-game homestand. We also can look forward to Eloy Jiménez joining us back in Chicago this weekend.

The White Sox are off tomorrow and are back in action on Friday. Carlos Rodón will take the bump, and for the Detroit Tigers it will be Daniel Norris.