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Walter Payton Eludes Oakland Raiders Tacklers

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Hey, another touchdown and a field goal and the White Sox would have been right back in it

But they fall to the Giants, 16-6

With Walter Payton pitching for the White Sox, this could have been a tighter ballgame.

First the bad news: Hanser Alberto no longer is the best White Sox reliever, since J.D. Davis knocked one of his 60 mph heaters 405 feet for a grand slam in the ninth.

Then the good news: Alberto got to almost make up for it by nailing a 50 mph torcher from San Francisco’s (usually) right fielder Matt Beatty for a single, matching Beatty’s single off him, then scoring on an Elvis Andrus double in the bottom of the ninth, that belt closing the gap to 10 runs.

As for the rest of the game, about all you need to know is that the grand slam was the sixth homer of the afternoon for the Giants, giving them 13 for the series and a new stadium record for dingers in a three-game set.

But if you’re a glutton for punishment, perhaps you’d like to know the homer parade started off of Lance Lynn with a three-run shot in the first by Michael Conforto, followed by the first long ball of Blake Sabol’s career, a solo shot in the second.

Lynn would give up two routine runs and then a two-run job to Mike Yastrzemski before departing in the fifth, making eight runs coughed up for the afternoon, on nine hits and three walks, laboring through 99 pitches in the process. José Ruiz served up a two-run gopher ball to Wilmer Flores, and Gregory Santos allowed two runs on a hit batter and three hits in his inning, before Davis finished things off.

In case you’re wondering, none of the homers were of the lucky variety. They were absolutely tagged, as were almost all San Francisco’s hits.

The White Sox, on the other hand, needed lousy fielding by the Giants (the worst D in MLB last year — even worse than the Sox) and some good fortune to score before the ninth. They briefly closed the gap to two runs in the bottom of the second when Andrus walked, Thairo Estrada booted Zeby Savala’s double-play grounder, they both stole a base to bob into ducks on the pond, and Tim Anderson made the only entry on the highlight reel.

Well, on the White Sox highlight reel.

Actually, Jake Burger, just in from Charlotte, had blasted a 116.5 mph double in the first, which gave early hope against San Francisco starter Alex Wood. And the Sox did manage another run on Wood’s tab on three weak singles to right by Zavala, Romy González and Andrew Vaughn in the fourth — Vaughn’s off of Jakob Junis, who got the win by then shutting down the Sox through the seventh.

Of course, that was before the two-out, three-run rally off of Beaty in the ninth, which had the misfortune to fall just a touchdown, extra point and field goal short.

But hey, with the new rules, the debacle was over in just 2:50, even with 364 pitches between the two teams.

The Sox are now 3-4 and head to Pittsburgh for the Pirates’ home opener. After this weekend, April gets really tough, with games against the Twins, Orioles, Phillies, Rays, Jays and Rays again.

Probably not a good idea to spot any of those teams 13-run leads.

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