Through their first 65 games, The White Sox have demonstrated a resiliency to come from behind and stay in almost every game. It's a quality that every contending team has to have and it's primarily a result of a persistent offense and a stellar bullpen.
Take last night, for instance. The Sox jumped out to a 4-0 advantage through 2 1/2 innings off of Dodger starter Chad Billingsley on RBIs by Alexei Ramirez (2), Philip Humber and Alex Rios only to see the lead disappear in the bottom of the third as the Dodgers tied the game, 4-4, with six singles off of Humber.
Having lost three games in a row on this road trip, The South Siders might have used this and the early lost lead as an excuse to lie down and die. But in the top of the fourth, no sooner than L.A. tied the score, the Sox took advantage of a hit batter and a Dodger error to came back to score what proved to be the winning run in the 5-4 victory. Ramirez was hit by a pitch to lead off of the inning and proceeded to steal second. Orlando Hudson reached on second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr.'s miscue and Ramirez scored later in the inning on a force out at second.
While the Sox offense came back to score the lead run in a hurry, the win wouldn't have happened without a herculean effort by the bullpen. Even though Humber lost the lead, it's to his credit that he blanked the Dodgers in the fourth and fifth innings and then turned it over to the pen, which provided the real heroics.
Hector Santiago, Nate Jones, Jesse Crain and Addison Reed combined to pitch the final four innings without allowing a hit or a run and giving up just two walks while striking out five. Reed (pictured above) recorded his eighth save by setting L.A. down in order in the ninth.
Sox Notes of Note: The Sox starting pitching remains a puzzle with John Danks still trying to figure out what's wrong with his shoulder and Humber and Gavin Floyd still trying to figure out how to get major league hitters out. The remaining three starters are looking good. Despite his subpar performance Friday, the only thing to worry about Chris Sale is his stamina--for the most part, he's pitched lights out. Jake Peavy was outstanding in his last start against the Cardinals despite suffering the loss and Jose Quintana, who goes today against the Dodgers, shouldn't be questioned until he gives us a reason to do so...In an effort to solve part of the puzzle, Zach Stewart will get the Monday start against the Cubs, which will give Peavy an extra day of rest and Floyd and Sale two extra days...Humber's RBI single was his first major league hit...Rios's RBI came on his fifth triple of the season and happened a day after he smacked two homers...The Sox increased their division lead to 1 1/2 games with the win and Tribe loss to the Pirates.
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Tags: Addison Reed, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, Cardinals, Chad Billingsley, Chris Sale, Dodgers, Gavin Floyd, Hector Santiago, Indians, Jake Peavy, Jerry Hairston, Jesse Crain, John Danks, Jose Quintana, Jr., Nate Jones, Orlando Hudson, Philip Humber, Pirates, White Sox, Zach Stewart