Beckham, Pierzynski homer in White Sox victoryContinue reading.
Error-prone Sox escape with 5-4 victory
This is the kind of season the White Sox are having:
They won a game Tuesday against the New York Mets with their starting pitcher striking out 13 in eight innings.
But the focus afterward was more on another embarrassing error on a routine pop fly ball in the ninth that should have ended the game with a W for the starter, but instead sent it to the bottom of the ninth.
“You end up winning but you focus on that [error],’’ manager Robin Ventura said of the dropped ball charged to second baseman Gordon Beckham, who came charging in for a pop-up within the reach of third baseman Conor Gillaspie.
“You have to have your ears open,’’ Ventura said. “You have to catch it.’’
The dropped ball off the bat of pinch hitter Daniel Murphy allowed David Wright to score the tying run for a 4-4 game instead of a 4-3 victory for Chris Sale and save for Addison Reed.
“I ran in there and screwed it up,’’ said Beckham, who batted in the ninth and helped advance Jeff Keppinger, who scored the eventual winning run off LaTroy Hawkins (2-1) in the 5-4 victory.
“My heart was in the right place but my mind wasn’t. It was loud. I screwed up. I’m an idiot. We won, but I screwed up. It’s unacceptable. You blow the win for Sale and the save for Reed. Just a stupid play.’’
Learning from mistakes is what Ventura tried to preach afterward, though Sale and Reed (3-0) were forgiving.
“It happens,’’ said Reed, who was in line for his 22nd save before the error, the sixth by Beckham this season and 54th by the Sox, who have committed the third-most in the American League.
“I saw [the pop-up]. I saw Conor on it. Gordon came in and hit my foot. I guess I could have been farther out of the way. I thought Conor had it, but I don’t blame Gordon because he was looking up and thought he had it.
“I feel bad Sale didn’t get the win, but we came out with the win. It happens. It’s part of baseball.’’
Sale had lost his last four entering the game, getting only five total runs of support in those games. This time he got four runs and it stood through his eight innings of work.
Sale limited the Mets to three runs on four hits, one a home run by Andrew Brown leading the fifth inning.
He struck out 13, his third double-digit performance of the season, and walked two.
“There’s nothing disappointing about a win [for the team],’’ said Sale, whose record remains 5-6. “It’s not the first time it’s happened and definitely won’t be the last. We got the win today. That’s all that matters. Records are irrelevant.’’
The game mirrored Sale’s fortunes as the pitcher receiving the fewest runs of support in the majors—and the fortunes of the error-prone Sox who last season led the league in defense.
“It’s tough luck for Sale. He pitched great,’’ Ventura said. “Everything you wanted him to do—and that’s what makes this game tough. Everyone has to do their job to make it feel right.’’
This error didn’t cost the game, as two had in Sunday’s loss at Kansas City. But the Sox have been unable to avoid mistakes, often on seemingly simple plays.
“You win a game and you’re talking about mistakes you made,’’
Ventura said. “You pat Sale on the back for a good job, but you didn’t get him the win. You have to clean it up.’’