A mild recovery outing from Hector Santiago? A pinch-hit extra-inning home run for Conor Gillaspie? Two extra-base hits from Dayan Viciedo? A scoreless high-leverage relief appearance from David Purcey!? A whopping three runs in just 10 innings!?!?
These are tiny hurdles–NAY, MERE MOLEHILLS–to the unstoppable locomotive of defeat that has been meticulously crafted on the South Side. Grinding through multiple achievements and bouts with good fortune to pull out a 10-inning 4-3 loss in Baltimore. They are now back to 29 games under .500, the most they have been below the split-even point all season.
The Sox were granted a pinch-hit solo shot to lead off the 10th from Gillaspie, who pinch-hit for Marcus Semien and whacked a hanging curve onto Utah St. to hand a rested Addison Reed a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 10th and their best opportunity in over a week.
But Reed followed it up with one of those innings that takes place when a season is just not working out. Hulking power-only reserve bat Henry Urrutia pushed a grounder through the left side to get the rally started with one out and was pinch-ran for by Chris Dickerson, who scooted for third and removed any margin for error when Nick Markakis planted a duck snort in front of Alejandro De Aza in left. Reed snapped a backdoor slider over to strike out Nate McLouth for the second out of the inning, but Markakis took second without contest on strike three, and scored the game-winning run when Matt Wieters sprayed a single down the right field line.
It was not as if the Orioles should not have won this game earlier. Josh Phegley‘s second throwing error of the ballgame pushed a runner to third in the bottom of the eighth (an inning started by David Purcey), and Nate Jones only escaped after Leury Garcia put another runner on with an error of his own. And Adam Jones had also gotten to third in the seventh when Phegley’s attempt to throw him out at second skipped past Gordon Beckham and into center. Both Phegley and Beckham ended the day on the bench.
Hector Santiago saw a recovery of sorts in terms of results in his return to the mound. He got through five innings, only yielding a pair of walks and runs each and striking out four. But he labored horribly yet again, racking up 100 pitches and tossing a flat changeup to Brian Roberts for a game-tying solo shot in the fifth.
That really put a crimp in the “Dayan Viciedo heroically ends losing streak and shows up blogger Nick Schaefer” narrative set in place when he drilled a Wei-Yin Chen fastball out to deep center and briefly give the White Sox a 2-1 lead. Both Viciedo and Paul Konerko collected two hits and drove in a run, with Konerko’s coming on an RBI single in the fourth. Otherwise, Chen had his most dominant start in a month, striking out eight over six innings while walking none.
Worse than the nine-game losing streak, the sincere possibility of a winless 10-game road trip and the 24-51 road record, the young guns trio of the two Garcia’s and Marcus Semien combined to go 1-12 with seven strikeouts on the day.
Team Record: 56-85
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