Chicago White Sox: Jeff Samardzija hit hard in loss at empty stadium
By Brian Draus
In a historic setting, the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles played the one and only game of what was supposed to be a three-game series.
Why was this setting so historic?
Due to civil unrest in Baltimore, Wednesday’s game was the first MLB game ever played with the gates locked. That meant outside of the press and a few scouts, no spectators were in the stands. However, there were some onlookers outside of the ballpark looking through a gate, but this was the most bizzare scene I can remember watching an MLB game as the White Sox lost 8-2 to the Orioles.
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Samardzija struggled in the first inning. He gave up a grand total of six runs, which would have been enough to win the game for the Orioles. The big play was an error by Jose Abreu on a ground ball by Jimmy Paredes, which should have been a double play.
With Alejandro De Aza on his way to second, Abreu thought about tagging the base, however changed his mind and threw high. Both runners ended up being safe, opening the door to a big inning. The floodgates opened up after that, with Chris Davis hitting a three-run home run among other hits that buried the Sox.
The lone inning the White Sox were able to score in today was the fifth. With the score 7-0 Adam LaRoche and Avisail Garcia reached base to begin the inning. Conor Gillaspie then flew out to deep left field. Alexei Ramirez then hit a ground ball to third baseman Manny Machado, who made a poor throw to second base. The ball got away, allowing LaRoche to score and Garcia and Ramirez to get into scoring position with one out. The Sox could only get Garcia home, who was driven in by Geovany Soto.
Apr 29, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche (25) stands at the top of the dugout during the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Fans are not allowed to attend the game due to the current state of unrest in Baltimore. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The final run of the game was a solo home run by Machado, who finished just a triple shy of the cycle. Samardzija gave up all eight runs, with seven of them being earned. Scott Carroll relieved Samardzija to begin the sixth, and pitched two scoreless innings. Carlos Rodon came in for the eighth, and had a perfect frame including a strikeout on a slider.
Rodon looked much better this time around, as his control was improved and the slider that struck out Caleb Joseph looked un-hittable.
While the Sox did lose the only game they played in Baltimore this trip, this whole series certainly was a strange situation for MLB. I hope that for the cities sake, that they can restore order because things got way out of control on Monday night.
The White Sox are headed to Minneapolis, they can get back to some sense of normalcy and hopefully winning as they take on the Minnesota Twins.