Instant Rationalization – The White Sox get no offense in heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Royals

With Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis out of the starting lineup, the Sox needed a good pitching performance out of Hector Santiago if they wanted a chance to win.  While Santiago only lasted four innings, he didn’t allow a run, nor did Brain Omogrosso or Nate Jones over the next four innings.

Unfortunately, the Sox couldn’t muster up any offense, and the limited offense they did have was cancelled out by failing in the clutch.  The Sox has bases loaded in the ninth inning with only one out in a scoreless tie, but Alex Rios grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.  Then, after giving up the lead in the tenth inning, the Sox had the tying and winning runs in scoring position with only one out, but Alejandro de Aza and Ray Olmedo both struck out to end the game.

The Royals took the momentum from turning the game-saving double play in the ninth inning and scored two runs with two outs off of Brett Myers in the tenth inning.  Mike Moustakas hit an RBI single to right field and was immediately followed by a Jeff Franceour RBI single.

A very frustrating game ends up just being another example of how the Royals have dominated the White Sox all season.

Key Performers

Hector Santiago – 4 IP, 3 H, 3 B, 8 K – Santiago only lasted four innings, and although he wasn’t very efficient, he held the Royals scoreless.

Mike Moustakas – 1-5, 1 RBI – His RBI single in the tenth inning got the Royals on the board.

Jeff Franceour – 2-5, 1 RBI – Franceour’s RBI single looked to be an insurance run for the Royals, but proved to be the game-winning RBI.

Turning Point

Rios’ GIDP in the ninth inning completely swung the momentum in favor of the Royals.  The Sox were poised to have a walk-off win and take the series from the Royals heading into the Tigers series.  Instead, as has often happened in 2012, the Royals managed to wiggle their way out of trouble and beat the Sox.

In the tenth inning, the Royals fittingly got a bloop single to start off the inning, which the cashed into the game’s first run.  Mike Moustakas, who was previously 0-4 in the game with two strikeouts, hit a Brett Myers fastball left out over the plate for an RBI single.

Things Would Be Different If…

…the Sox played with their everyday lineup.  Adam Dunn’s oblique injury flared up again, Alexei Ramirez was benched for being late to the game and Kevin Youkilis is still on paternity leave.  It’s very hard to compete, especially against a team that has given you trouble all year long, if two of your more patient hitters and best defender are out of the lineup, not to mention having a spot starter in Santiago.

Takeaway

The Sox must put this frustrating series behind them, which is something they have done well this year.  Although the Sox have lost nine of their last 13 games, they never seem to go on an extended losing streak.  Fortunately, the Sox actually gained a game on the Tigers over the weekend, as Detroit was swept by the Angels.

The upcoming four game home series versus Detroit is by far the most important series of the year to date.  The Sox might say that every game counts just the same, but that’s just not true in this case.  Every game is a two-game swing.  The Sox can potentially be up by six games at the conclusion of the series, or down two games.

To be the best, the Sox need to beat the best (at least the Tigers were projected to be the best) and that’s something the Sox haven’t done against Detroit, carrying a 4-10 record against Detroit in 2012.  Just think, if the Sox had just played .500 baseball against Detroit this year, they would have an eight game lead right now.

That’s why these next four games aren’t just like any other.  It’s for the A.L. Central division title.

Overall Record: 75-64, 2 games up on Detroit

Filed under: Game Wraps

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