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Reliever Ronald Belisario melts down in White Sox’ loss to Twins

Updated: August 29, 2014 1:12PM



MINNEAPOLIS — Scott Carroll was taken out because of a blister, Ronald Belisario was taken aback over a bracelet and, just like that, a one-run lead disappeared for the White Sox in a 4-3 loss Sunday to the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

The Sox led 2-1 before Belisario, who was called on to start the seventh inning when Carroll was forced to exit after only 78 pitches, walked Josh Willingham on four pitches after plate umpire Jeff Kellogg made him remove a bracelet from his left wrist. Trainer Herm Schneider was summoned to remove the bracelet, which Belisario wears for religious reasons and wasn’t visible on his non-throwing arm. Kellogg also told Belisario that the white rosin on his black left sleeve had to go, too.

‘‘I always wear it like that; it’s bull----,’’ said Belisario, who admitted the whole thing got into his head. ‘‘Yeah, I got mad because I always wear it like that. Both of them.’’

After the walk to Willingham, Chris Parmelee singled on the next pitch. When the next hitter, Eric Fryer, squared to bunt, Belisario threw a wild pitch high and in. After Fryer walked to load the bases, Javy Guerra was called on to clean up the mess but couldn’t. A sacrifice fly by Danny Santana and a two-run single by Sam Fuld knocked in the three runners Belisario had put on, and the last-place Twins had what they needed to avoid a four-game sweep.

‘‘It could have thrown [Belisario] off,’’ said Sox catcher Adrian Nieto, who hit his first career home run in the eighth. ‘‘Maybe, by his expression, [it did].’’

It was another blemish on the Sox’ bullpen, which wasn’t needed much in the first three games of the series
because of a lineup that cranked out 21 runs and 42 hits in those games. The loss sent the Sox to Detroit for three games before the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday with a 51-55 record. They’re only a handful of games out of the second wild-card spot, but they’re also a behind a handful of teams, which likely sets them up more as sellers than buyers as the deadline approaches.

‘‘It’s tough right now when you look at [reliever Zach] Putnam on the DL, [outfielder] Avi [Garcia] not here,’’ manager Robin Ventura said when asked about where his team stands in the wild-card picture. ‘‘Where you looked at it a few months ago is different than how you look at it now. . . . Guys are playing hard. They’re scratching, clawing. Wherever it ends up, it ends up.’’

In the ninth, the Sox put runners at the corners with no outs on singles by Jose Abreu and pinch hitter Paul Konerko. But Twins closer Glen Perkins pitched out of the jam by striking out Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza around a walk to Conor Gillaspie, then retiring Gordon Beckham on a fly to left.

Nieto, who got the silent treatment from teammates after his homer, made a point to second Ventura’s take that the Sox are battling.

‘‘We fought, man,’’ Nieto
said. ‘‘Look at the last
inning — bases loaded with a chance to tie or go ahead. I like how the guys around here really wanted this last game. We won three in a row. This past series, the dugout was amazing. It was awesome, cheering the whole time, rooting for each other.’’

The bigger cheers came when Beckham doubled, Alexei Ramirez drove him in with a sacrifice fly and Abreu doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth. That all went down right when former Sox slugger Frank Thomas was making his Hall of Fame
induction speech.

Too bad Carroll had only one inning left in him.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @CST_soxvan



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