The 8-7 White Sox victory over the A’s last night (early morning in the East) wasn’t easy to watch, filled with enough ups and downs to make a guy downright nuts.
Here’s the game in a nutshell, defined by its highs and lows. It goes without saying that this was much easier to write since the Good Guys came out on top.
The Sox started out on fire in the top of the first with three straight singles by Pods, GBeck and Dye. Dye’s hit produced the first run of the inning and a Rios’ sac fly made it 2-0.
In the second the Sox scored four more, highlighted by Ramon Castro’s two-run shot that drove in Alexei, who singled, and RBIs by Dye and GBeck. It was 6-0 after two.
With the offense in gear, it looked like this could be laugher as Contreras pitched scoreless ball for the first three innings. It was not to be.
Although it didn’t cost the Sox in terms of a run, Alexei was charged with an error on a mixup as he cut in front of Nix on the second base side of the bag, but couldn’t make the play. This is the first of two inexplicable examples of miscommunication that must drive Ozzie nuts.
The bottom of the fourth was a disaster. With one out Scott Hairston homered, continuing the tradition of the Hairstons (Jerry and Scott) hurting their dad’s and granddad’s old team. Then the Sox really got unhinged. Quentin and Rios misplayed a routine fly ball into a Ryan Sweeney double (that second miscommunication). Tommy Everidge was hit by a pitch and Jack Cust, no Rickey Henderson on the basepaths, reached on a bobbled grounder by Nix that was scored a hit. Bases loaded. Mark Ellis then cleared the bases with a double and scored on a Cliff Pennington single. 6-5 Sox after four innings.
The A’s scored two more runs in the fifth, ending the night for Contreras. The Sox found themselves down 7-6.
After the A’s went ahead 7-6 in the fifth, the bullpen was terrific. Carrasco, Thornton, Dotel (who got the win) and finally Jenks (credited with the save) retired 15 straight batters.
Sox tied up the game in the top of the sixth. Nix walked, Castro singled and Pods sac bunt sent them to second and third. GBeck’s groundout scored Nix. 7-7.
Alexei’s solo homer in the top of the 10th proves to be the game-winner as the Sox take the first game of the series.
I’m exhausted, but happy we pulled this one out.