It only took the White Sox 4 batters to equal yesterday’s hit output. A batter later they did what they couldn’t manage at all the previous night: they scored. Multiple times. With the reactionary Sox fan base getting some time to relax, Dylan Axelrod took care of the rest and the Sox are no longer in danger of being involved in their fourth straight sweep.
White Sox (72-57): 8
Orioles (71-58): 1
Alex Rios got the scoring started by sending one into the gap, scoring two of the three Sox that were packing the sacks at the moment. Alexei Ramirez would add a single to the frame that scored Paulie and Rios, and just like that the worries about the White Sox rapidly declining offense were gone. As simple as 4 runs to open up the game.
Matt Weiters doubled to lead off the 4th, one of 3 hits allowed by Dylan Axelrod. He came around to score, tagging on two consecutive fly outs but that was as much damage as Axelrod was willing to concede. During his stellar evening, Axelrod quieted the doubters by allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and retiring 13 straight Orioles before allowing a walk to J.J. Hardy in the 8th that would mark the end of his evening. The 7.1 innings pitched for Axelrod also represents the deepest he’s ever lasted into a contest. The 6 of us who were missing Gavin Floyd have nearly forgotten who he is already.
Plus: When it rains, it pours. The White Sox go from managing just 2 hits the night before and, as it was put to me this morning, being “humiliated” with a 6-0 loss, to notching 8 runs of their own, and all without the assistance of the HR ball.
Minus: It’s not a minus, necessarily, because it worked out but with runners on first and second Tyler Flowers was (presumably) instructed to put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over. He did so, and they would score on a Gordon Beckham single. “seeeeeee?!” the bunt advocate may yell. But I don’t. I don’t see. Sure, Flowers could have hit into a double play, but he also could have hit a single, a double, a homerun, hell even a triple. Ironically, the inning would end when Kevin Youkilis lined into a double play. Just have everybody bunt, then, eh?
Player of the Game:
Dylan Axelrod – .176 WPA