Jul 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielderNate McLouth
(9) is forced out at home plate by Chicago White Sox catcherTyler Flowers
(21) during the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The Orioles beat the White Sox 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
At least it wasn’t Hector’s fault.
Taking joy out of rooting for a last place team is all about compartmentalization. Should that compartment be “just hoping to see players who might be around for the future do well” and accompanied by a steadfast hope that the entire offense will be overhauled, then Wednesday’s night Sox game contained the simple victory of young Hector Santiago striking out nine batters and allowing just two runs and the same number of free passes over seven solid innings. Fine work. Cause for celebration, given the tough lineup he faced.
Matt Lindstrom stepping in to start the eighth, allowing two hits in front of world-destroyer Chris Davis and Matt Thornton achieving little besides keeping Davis inside the ballpark on a two-run double that pointed Baltimore to a 4-2 victory felt decidedly less glorious. But through the beauty of compartmentalization, we can remember that neither one of these guys has a guaranteed deal through next season.
Davis also skied a U.S. Cellular-style home run into the left field bullpen to start out the fourth inning and give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. The blast might have merited more derision had it not been hit to the opposite field and if Santiago had not come within feet of giving up home runs to left field to Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy, the latter of which would have broken the game open 4-0 in the first inning had Dayan Viciedo not been around to slowly amble across the warning track.
As much as Davis single-handedly destroyed the Sox, Santiago’s night stabilized after he froze the MVP candidate with a high fastball with two runners on in the first inning. He allowed the first three batters of the game to reach, including an RBI single off the bat of Adam Jones, but took down 20 of the next 25 from there on out.
The White Sox offense made the Scott Feldman trade look brilliant for a night. In his debut with his new team, the veteran right-hander glided through six groundball-filled innings with just two runs allowed. A long, game-tying Gordon Beckham home run to left in the fifth kept Feldman from picking up a victory, but Adam Dunn not being able to score on a first inning Dayan Viciedo single kept him from paying more for his early jitters.
Alex Rios singled, stole second and scored on an Adam Dunn double in the first inning for the Sox’ initial tally. That’s all he did. Please trade lots of stuff for him, rest of MLB.
Team Record: 33-48
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