Like many during the Fourth of July weekend, I enjoyed two things during the holiday weekend: delicious food made on a charcoal grill and baseball, specifically Chicago White Sox baseball.
The White Sox were able to bounce back from a doubleheader sweep this past Tuesday in a 3-2 walk-off win against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. Leury Garcia drilled a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning through the left side to give the Sox some momentum heading into their three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners.
Here’s a recap of the White Sox taking two of three games from a red-hot Mariners bunch:
Friday: White Sox – 7, Mariners – 1
On the Fourth of July, fans were treated to fireworks not only after the game, but during a 7-1 White Sox victory as well.
Behind three home runs from the Sox lineup, Chris Sale had all the offense he needed in one of his best outings of the season. In his second complete game of the season, Sale struck out 12, gave up six hits and did not walk a hitter on 112 pitches (77 strikes). Friday was the third time during the season that Sale had struck out double-digit hitters.
In the stellar performance from Sale, Dayan Viciedo, Jose Abreu and Paul Konerko all went deep. The home run by Abreu extended his hitting streak to 18 games and tied him with Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz for the major league lead.
Saturday: Mariners – 3, White Sox – 2 (14 innings)
In their second 14-inning game of the season, the White Sox bullpen could not lock another win down in the ninth inning and fell in extras, 3-2.
After scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Seattle scored two in the top of the ninth to tie the game.
The second of the three-game set between the two teams was a great pitching duel between former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez and Jose Quintana. Hernandez extended his streak of consecutive starts with going 7+ innings and only giving up two or fewer runs to 10 games.
Quintana was sharp in his 7 2/3 innings of work. During his second no-decision in the last four outings, Quintana gave up just four hits, walked only one and struck out 10 on 109 pitches (75 strikes).
Ronald Belisario hung tough in an extending relief appearance, but was tagged with his fifth loss of the season after back-to-back Seattle hits in the 14th.
Sunday: White Sox – 1, Mariners – 0
Facing his former team, Hector Noesi picked up a win in arguably his best outing of the year on Sunday afternoon in a 1-0 White Sox.
In 6 2/3 innings, Noesi gave up five hits, walked two and struck out two on 88 pitches (57 strikes). Erik Surkamp and Jake Petricka helped Noesi finish off the M’s in their 2 1/3 innings of work by not giving up a run or a hit.
Conor Gillaspie scored the only run of the game in the first inning thanks to a wild pitch on a walk to Adam Dunn. How does a team like the White Sox only rack up two hits, commit their 62nd error of the year (fourth-worst in baseball) and win?
Baseball’s a weird game.
After finishing off their home slate before the All-Star break, the White Sox hit the road for seven straight, starting on Monday night in Boston against the defending champion Red Sox.
How? Just … how?