An easy shutdown John Danks outing would have been just too easy of a way for the White Sox to stop their skid. Not just because Danks skated by all night on hard hit outs, or because the Sox were felt comfortable nursing a 3-0 lead into the later innings while stranding 10 runners against a shaky Justin Masterson.
It would have been too easy of a way out because this is a mid-week road trip in Cleveland, where bloop singles start rallies and closers get used in the 8th and 10th innings.
An extra-inning rally was the best that could be hoped for.
White Sox 5, Indians 3, F/10 innings
Alex Rios - 3 for 4, 3B, R, RBI - The go-ahead triple in the 10th really made a night with two run-of-the-mill singles look better
John Danks - 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 101 pitches - Not a true return to form, but the first sign of progress in nearly a month against a lineup that he seems ill-suited for
Gordon Beckham - 1 for 4, R, BB, K - Ugly at-bats marked the end of the contest, but started the scoring in the 1st with a ringing single to right field out of the #2 hole
Adam Dunn - 1 for 2, 2B, R, 3 BB, K - A pretty awesome game all told, and he kept his 35-game strikeout streak alive in the process
Alejandro De Aza - 2 for 5, R, K - He's a leadoff man
Justin Masterson - 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 5 BB, 109 pitches - He was out of sorts, and vulnerable to lefties all night, but handled Konerko and the bottom of the order, which was enough to escape this lineup with.
Carlos Santana - 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBI - A plague in the form of a man
Alex Rios sliced a bullet to the right field (!) gap to knock in pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge from 1st, putting the Sox up a run in the 10th. Not quite satisfied with his efforts, Rios then scored on a soft grounder to 2nd with a foot first slide right before the tag. A flurry of production and hustle that trumps anything from last season...save for that time he tried to compensate for everything by running into a wall in a meaningless September game.
It was fitting revenge for Rios against Chris Perez; assuming that something actually happened between them.
Things Would Be Different...
The Sox were headed for a far less stressful victory when John Danks came out for the 8th nursing a shutout, but back-to-back walks ended his night and would soon end his shutout when new closer (?) Chris Sale couldn't pitch over an Alexei Ramirez error, or navigate a bases-loaded, no one out situation with the three run lead intact. Carlos Santana's line drive single/attempt on Chris Sale's life tied the game up and eventually forced extras.
The White Sox entered "a win is a win" territory a week and a half ago, if not earlier. Complaints about John Danks only getting two swinging strikes all night, Hector Santiago getting used in the 9th inning before Addison Reed, and miserable bottom of the order production needs to get tabled until some other night where the same formula results in a 10-run loss.
Instead, focus on Alex Rios saving the game, driving an outside fastball to the opposite field, and Brent Lillibridge serving his purpose on the roster; running faster than anyone else.
Team Record: 14-17, 4 GB