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Addison Reed relishes rare save shot as Sox nip Royals 3-2


Addison Reed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You remember Addison Reed?

When you don’t win, you don’t close. And if you don’t close, well, you can become a forgotten man.

A Reed sighting in a save situation Saturday was a rare and welcome sight for the White Sox, who beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 for their second consecutive victory. Reed pitched a perfect ninth.

Long time, no save.

With the Sox (31-41) losing seven games in the last eight before they roughed up Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals in a 9-1 victory Friday, their closer had pitched once in the previous seven. He got a shake-off-the-rust appearance Friday, which came in handy when he nailed down his 21st save in 23 opportunities. It was Reed’s fourth save since May 26, when he got No. 17 as the Sox beat the Miami Marlins.

That victory leveled the Sox’ record at 24-24, but until the last couple of days, it had been all downhill for the team since then.

“I’m doing everything I can to stay sharp with bullpen sessions and side sessions,’’ Reed said. “I come in every day thinking I’m going to pitch.

“It’s not quite the same if you don’t have the adrenaline going but working on mechanics is the same. I’m doing everything I can to stay sharp.’’

Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen, a former Sox closer, knows how it is, so he has challenged Reed in different ways to keep him mentally sharp.

“It’s already been printed and said about the difference in his [poor non-save situation] numbers last year,’’ Thigpen said. “I’ve tried to play games with him from spring inning on to get the mind-set of preparing himself for not necessarily the situation but pitch to pitch, batter to batter. It’s helped him a little bit because that way you don’t put so much pressure on yourself in a save situation. You’re used to just going in and getting outs.’’

Alejandro De Aza’s sacrifice fly off Greg Holland in the ninth gave Reed a chance to be a closer again. He needed 10 pitches to get the job done.

Conor Gillaspie and Jeff Keppinger (3-for-3 with a walk) drove in a run apiece against Wade Davis, and Dayan Viciedo extended his hitting streak to seven games with two hits, the second turning into the winning run scored by pinch runner Jordan Danks.

Sox starter Jose Quintana gave up two runs in 51/3 innings, Matt Lindstrom lowered his ERA to 2.59 with 12/3 innings of scoreless relief and Jesse Crain (2-1) extended his scoreless-appearance streak to 29 by pitching out of a jam in the eighth.

The save was No. 50 in Reed’s young career. In his first season as a closer in 2012, he pitched for a Sox team that spent 117 days in first place. This year, the days in last place are adding up.

“Winning streak or losing streak you have to have the same attitude, that’s to win every day,’’ he said.

“If you walk in this clubhouse you couldn’t tell if we’ve won 10 in a row or lost 10. Everybody has the same attitude and that’s how to go about it. The more you stress about it, the deeper the hole you’ll dig.’’

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