In the early part of the 2014 season, scoring late-game runs has become the Chicago White Sox bread and butter. In the first 36 games for the Sox, they have scored 34 runs in just the ninth inning.
The Sox were beaten at their own game by their crosstown rivals on Thursday night.
The Chicago Cubs scored six runs in the final two innings to take the finale of the four-game crosstown series between the two Chicago teams, 12-5. All nine Cub hitters logged at least one hit.
The North Side’s big bat at first base made his presence known for the first time in the series on Thursday. Anthony Rizzo led the Cubs with a 3-for-5 night at the plate, including a towering home run off White Sox starter Scott Carroll in the third inning.
Carroll’s night was a rough one. In his first rough outing of the year with the Sox, Carroll lasted only four innings, gave up six earned runs on 11 hits, walked two and struck out two on 90 pitches.
The four-game win streak for the Sox ended and so did a chance to sweep the Cubs in a regular season for the first time ever. The Sox move on to conclude a five-game home-stand against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. The Good Guys will send Andre Rienzo to the mound, while Arizona sends former White Sox right-hander Brandon McCarthy to the hill.
- Conor Gillaspie returned to the White Sox lineup on Thursday night with a 2-for-4 night at the plate, including an RBI single in the fourth inning.
- Left-hander Scott Downs was awesome in his two innings of relief. Downs didn’t give up a hit or a walk, while striking out three. The rest of the Sox bullpen? In three innings of work, they gave up six runs on four hits, while walking four. Ouch.
- Alexei Ramirez has a serious case to make the All-Star Game in Minneapolis this season. Ramirez was on fire with a 4-for-5 night at the dish with two runs scored. Ramirez is currently hitting .338 on the year and began the year with a 17-game hitting streak.
- Reports were swirling after Thursday’s game about ankle soreness for Jose Abreu. CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes tweeted out that Sox manager Robin Ventura mentioned that “Abreu’s soreness isn’t as bad as spring training”, but “would consider DH-ing Abreu” as a precaution.
Here’s an interesting stat from CSN Chicago’s stat guru Christopher Kamka (pre-Cubs/Sox on Thursday):
#WhiteSox pitching this season HR Rate – 1.74% (Leads MLB) Bullpen HR Rate- 0.77% (Leads MLB)
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 8, 2014