The White Sox played to recent form last night except for one thing--they didn't come away with a win.
The Sox fell behind 1-0 in the second inning, then came back to take take a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth on the power of Kevin Youkilis's 16th homer. The Orioles quickly tied the score 2-2 in the bottom of the frame only to see the Sox go on top again, 3-2, in the eighth.
The series of comeback wins and six-game winning streak bubble burst, however, as O's leftfielder Nate McLouth smashed a two-run homer in the bottom half of the eighth. Final score: Baltimore 4, White Sox 3.
The story of last night was simple. The McLouth homer; a Sox-killer of the past, Lew Ford, came back to haunt us going 2 for 4 with a homer; and as the late Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch often said, "Oh, those bases on balls." In other words, Sox pitchers suffered control problems throughout the game.
Sox fans will remember Ford. Playing for the Twins from 2003-07, he was a sometimes starter, sometimes spare part, sometimes yo-yo as he went back and forth to the Twinkies from Triple A. In his best season, 2004, he hit .299 with 15 homers, 72 RBIS, 20 stolen bases and a .381 on base percentage. But make no mistake he was always a true major league performer against the Sox on a very good Twins team that won three division titles during that time and made a habit out of beating our Sox.
The conventional wisdom was that Ford would never be seen in the majors again. No such luck. Since he last appeared in the big leagues in 2007 he played in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers, signed minor league contracts with the Rockies (did not play there) and Reds, saw action with the independent Long Island Ducks and played with Guerreros de Oaxaca in the Mexican League. Signed to a minor league contract by the Orioles and brought up to the majors this summer, Ford has played in 11 games and, of course, fate would have him collect his first homer and RBI against the team he loved to hammer in days gone by.
Finally, the walks--all seven of them--absolutely killed us. In the bottom of the sixth, the O's tied the score primarily due to bases on balls. Francisco Liriano walked Matt Wieters and gave up a single to Ford to start the inning. Jesse Crain came on in relief and proceeded to walk Mark Reynolds to load the bases and McLouth to force in the tying run. Then in the eighth, McLouth's homer would have just tied the score had Brett Myers not walked Reynolds to start the inning.
Our hope is that the control bug isn't contagious as Chris Sale hopes to even up things tonight.