Sox lose, 6-4, to Indians, tumble to second in AL Central
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org September 26, 2012 10:24PM
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Lou Marson #6 of the Cleveland Indians scores past catcher A.J. Pierzynski #12 of the Chicago White Sox after Shin-Soo Choo #17 grounded out to first base during the seventh inning at U.S. Cellular Field on September 26, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:38AM
That was the sound of the White Sox falling out of first place on Wednesday night for the first time since July 23.
That is the one-word description of the Sox’ performance against the last-place Cleveland Indians in their failed attempt to stay in first.
Sox pitchers walked 12 Indians and Sox hitters were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position in a 6-4 loss in front of 20,166 fans who suffered through the agonizing 3 hours, 44 minutes it took for the Sox
(82-73) to lose for the seventh time in eight games. The Detroit Tigers (83-72) beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 to take a one-game lead in the American League Central.
‘‘It was just a grueling game,’’ first baseman Paul Konerko said. ‘‘Everybody was dialed in on every pitch. It might have been better getting blown out 15-0 and being done with it. But with our team, I’m not worried about us not showing up tomorrow. We do that well — that’s one of our best traits.
‘‘But we didn’t deserve to win that game.’’
Shin-Soo Choo’s grounder off Matt Thornton (4-9) to Konerko scored Lou Marson as the Indians broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh. Vinny Rottino hit his first homer against Brett Myers in the eighth to make it 6-4.
Rookie starter Hector Santiago was staked to a 3-1 lead but lasted only 31/3 innings. Santiago walked four and gave up five hits, allowing three runs. Fellow rookie Brian Omogrosso replaced Santiago and gave up a two-run single to Glenbrook North grad Jason Kipnis to tie the score at 3.
Indians starter Justin Masterson had control problems of his own in the first, walking Konerko with the bases loaded to score Alejandro De Aza (walk) before Alex Rios’ sacrifice fly and A.J. Pierzynski’s RBI double gave the Sox their 3-1 lead.
The Sox wanted more with runners on second and third and one out, but Alexei Ramirez tapped out to Masterson and Dewayne Wise grounded to first as the Sox’ problems with runners in scoring position continued. They’re 8-for-65 over the last nine games.
Masterson regained his command and lasted until the fifth, when he walked Pierzynski with two outs and threw a wild pitch. When Ramirez doubled off the center-field wall to give the Sox a 4-3 lead, Masterson’s night was over.
Nate Jones, pitching for the sixth time in 10 days, walked Santana in a 12-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth to tie the score at 4.
By then, the Tigers were making their way home to rest up for their home finale against the Royals on Thursday afternoon. They finish with three games at Minnesota and three at Kansas City. The Sox open a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday before finishing with three at Cleveland.
‘‘Obviously now you need help,’’ Konerko said. ‘‘Even if you win out, they could win out and it doesn’t work.’’
Said Pierzynski: ‘‘We can’t play like we did tonight, I know that. We have to find a way to win games. We jump out to a lead, and we have to shut them down.’’
The Sox have lost three straight series and five of the last seven — no way to win a division in September.
‘‘We’re going to continue to battle,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘We’re going to scratch and claw.’’