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MLB: Miami Marlins at Chicago White Sox
Lucas Giolito had yet another great outing this afternoon, going seven innings with one run and nine strikeouts.
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Marlins 6, White Sox 5: Late-inning meltdown ... again

Miami stuns in the last two innings, to steal the game and series

It was a total gut-punch on the South Side of Chicago this afternoon, as the White Sox lost to the Miami Marlins, 6-5, after blowing a 4-1 lead in the eighth. What could have easily been a sweep is now a series lost.

Both teams got of to a slow start offensively, as a classic pitchers’ duel arose between Braxton Garrett and Lucas Giolito. Either pitcher allowed a run until the top of the fifth, when Jorge Soler lifted a solo home run to center field to give the Marlins a 1-0 cushion.

Braxton continued to fly through the White Sox lineup, and he ended his day in the bottom of the sixth after striking out Yoán Moncada to start the inning. His final line was 5 1⁄3 innings, three hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts. What seemed at the time a questionable decision quickly turned costly, as JT Chargois came in and struck out Luis Robert Jr. but suffered a two-out rally by the White Sox. Andrew Vaughn doubled, and Jake Burger had a bloop double that went past Jesus Sanchez in right field to score Vaughn and tie it at 1-1.

Andrew Benintendi was intentionally walked, and Romy González took that personally, ripping a go-ahead, two-run double to left to give the team a 3-1 lead.

Giolito got through the seventh inning without damage, and that would be the end of his day. It was another solid outing from him, as he had six hits, one run, one walk, and eight strikeouts.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Clint Frazier walked against Huascar Brazoban, and with two outs and two strikes, Luis Robert Jr. hit a no-doubter to left field to make it 5-1, White Sox.

The game was looking like a wrap at this point.

Until it wasn’t. Keynan Middleton started the eighth inning, and while he hadn’t allowed a run since April 29, the Marlins bats came alive. Soler started off the inning hitting his second home run of the game, which cut the deficit to 5-2, and Garrett Cooper followed with a solo home run of his own, cutting the lead to 5-3.

Kendall Graveman came in to close it out in the ninth, but had a total meltdown instead. Jean Segura started off the inning with a solo shot to cut the Marlins deficit to 5-4, and to make things worse, it was his first home run of the season. This was also Graveman’s first run allowed since April 30.

After a ground out, Jonathan Davis reached due to catchers interference by Seby Zavala, which just can’t happen in that tense a situation with a 9-spot hitter. Luis Arráez was retired, but Soler walked to put runners on first and second. There were so many chances to close it out, but instead Bryan De La Cruz ripped a two-run, go-ahead double past a diving Moncada at third to put the Marlins up, 6-5. De La Cruz advanced to third, mid-celebration, because no White Sox player was at third base to cover it. Aaron Bummer came in and retired the next batter due to a great diving play by Moncada — unfortunately, one batter too late.

Marlins closer A.J. Puk came in the bottom of the ninth and induced a 1-2-3 inning for the win, ruining Southpaw’s birthday celebration.

It was just a terrible way to end it two days in a row, but credit to the Marlins, who proved they are a good team with a lot of fight. The bullpen had been looking good again, but these past two days proved that it is still flawed. The Minnesota Twins also lost today, so the White Sox stay put at 4 1⁄2 games back of first place. When you’re still nine games under .500, it’s hard to even look at how far you are out of first place, but the AL Central division being terrible has given us that luxury.

Just as we get reeled back in, the White Sox pull us right back out again. These types of collapses cannot happen, but they pop up just as some sort of streak is starting. Welcome to the frustrating life of a White Sox fan. Not much else to say at this point in the season.

Luckily, we don’t have to watch any of this crap tomorrow, as the White Sox have an off-day, but we do have a tough stretch coming up as the team heads to the West Coast to face the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners. Get ready for some late-night baseball, starting on Tuesday night as the team looks to redeem itself against some of the best in baseball in the Dodgers. Game time for all three games in LA will be at 9:10 p.m. CT, and on Tuesday Lance Lynn will try to get back on track ... again.

See you all then, and try and enjoy your day as much as you can after whatever that game was.

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