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Ugly error overshadows Sox’ victory vs. Mets

Updated: June 26, 2013 12:00AM



This is the kind of season the White Sox are having:

They defeated the New York Mets 5-4 on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field with starting pitcher Chris Sale striking out 13 in eight innings, but the focus afterward was more on another embarrassing error on a routine pop fly in the ninth that cost Sale the victory.

‘‘You end up winning, but you focus on that [error],’’ manager Robin Ventura said of the misplay by second baseman Gordon Beckham, who came charging in for a pop-up that was within the reach of third baseman Conor Gillaspie. ‘‘You have to have your ears open. You have to catch it.’’

The dropped pop-up enabled David Wright to score the run that made it 4-4 and wiped away a victory for Sale and a save for closer Addison Reed.

‘‘I ran in there and screwed it up,’’ said Beckham, whose sacrifice in the ninth advanced Jeff Keppinger, who scored the winning run on an RBI single by Alexei Ramirez with two outs. ‘‘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 un-
acceptable. You blow the win for Sale and the save for Reed. Just a stupid play.’’

Learning from mistakes is what Ventura was trying to preach afterward, though Sale and Reed were forgiving.

‘‘It happens,’’ said Reed, who was in line for his 22nd save before Beckham’s error, the Sox’ 54th of the season, 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 entered the game having lost his last four starts, getting a combined five runs of support in those outings. This time, the Sox got him four runs and he gave up three in eight innings. His 13 strikeouts gave him his third double-digit performance of the season.

‘‘There’s nothing disappointing about a win [for the team],’’ said Sale, whose record remained 5-6. ‘‘It’s not the first time it’s happened, and it definitely won’t be the last. We got the win today; that’s all that matters. Records are irrelevant.’’

The game mirrored the fortunes of Sale, who has received the fewest runs of support of any starting pitcher in the majors, and the
fortunes of the error-prone Sox, who led the league in defense last season.

‘‘It’s tough luck for Sale; he pitched great,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘He did 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.’’

Beckham’s error didn’t cost the Sox the game, as those by Jesse Crain and Ramirez did in a loss Sunday to the Kansas City Royals. 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.’’



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