Indians score go-ahead run in eighth to top Sox, end Jesse Crain’s streak
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org June 29, 2013 8:32PM
Updated: August 2, 2013 7:17AM
Baseball has been like a bad movie for the White Sox this season.
‘‘You couldn’t even come up with what’s happened in some of these games if you wrote a script and made up these endings,’’ captain Paul Konerko said Saturday. ‘‘This game keeps you in check as a player and as a team.
‘‘No one is happy in here. This is not part of the plan. There’s no other way to say it.’’
Another unexpected development put the Sox on the losing end of a 4-3 decision to the Cleveland Indians, who won their third game in a row in come-from-behind fashion. This time, the victim was Jesse Crain (2-3), who had been the Sox’ most reliable reliever with a franchise-record streak of 31 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run. But the Indians had three consecutive singles against Crain in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie.
‘‘He’s always going to come in kind of the toughest situations,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘That eighth inning is one of those. It’s usually a nasty situation.’’
It shouldn’t have come to that, but the Sox stranded 11 runners.
‘‘Guys on base, you have a chance to kind of put it out of reach, so to speak, but we couldn’t do it,’’ said Ventura, who watched his team reach double digits in hits again (11), to no avail.
‘‘It’s been like that all year,’’ right-hander Dylan Axelrod said of the latest loss, which saw the Sox leading 3-1 before a two-run home run by Jason Kipnis in the sixth tied the score. ‘‘I was trying to get a strike [against Kipnis], but it didn’t come out the way I wanted. It’s frustrating. One pitch makes the difference in a ballgame. We could be the
other way around if the breaks were going our way.’’
Instead, the Sox fell to 32-46 overall and to a dismal 4-12 in their last 16 games.
‘‘Most games are pretty close, but losing by nine [as the Sox did in a 19-10 defeat in Game 1 of a
doubleheader Friday] doesn’t sting as much as losing by one [as they did in Game 2 and Saturday],’’ Ventura said.
Axelrod was credited with a quality start, his first in five starts since May 31 against the Oakland Athletics. But the Sox failed to hit a homer and fell to 6-23 when they don’t produce at least one long ball.
‘‘Axe pitched fine,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It’s just one of those where he gave up a couple of homers and they got to Jesse, which has been hard to do for a lot of [teams]. As far as everything else, it was a clean game, and we played good defense. We kind of missed those [scoring] opportunities, and they come back and haunt you.’’
Konerko said he hopes the Sox can turn things around.
‘‘All you can hope for is that all the work we’ve put in as players in the offseason and as a team in spring training will have some good coming out of it,’’ said Konerko, who missed his fifth consecutive game with pain in his lower back. ‘‘Sometimes when you get to that second half of the season — and we’re right there now — sometimes a switch just goes off for players and for teams. Hopefully that happens [because] it’s not been fun for almost everybody here.’’