Closer Ronald Belisario can’t hold lead for John Danks
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter May 24, 2014 10:38PM
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, right, talks with catcher Adrian Nieto during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Chicago on Saturday, May 24, 2014. The Yankees won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: CXS121
Updated: June 26, 2014 6:49AM
Good things can end painfully. Just ask the White Sox, who saw their eight-game winning streak against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field end Saturday with a 4-3 loss in 10 innings.
One out away from a 3-0 victory, the Sox saw the Yankees turn the tables on them after they had pulled off a dramatic ninth-inning comeback victory Friday.
This time, the Yankees scored three in the ninth inning off closer Ronald Belisario to tie the game before Jacoby Ellsbury’s go-ahead home run in the 10th off Zach Putnam (2-1).
‘‘That’s part of baseball,’’ said Sox starter John Danks, who was denied a win after eight stellar innings in which he didn’t allow a run and gave up three hits and no walks.
‘‘Stuff happens. You can’t do anything about it. [Closing] is not the easiest job. [Belisario] really didn’t pitch bad. I don’t think he gave up a hard-hit ball. They were just well-placed.’’
Alfonso Soriano’s double inside the first-base line was one of them, scoring Ellsbury, who had singled. Soriano scored when Yangervis Solarte poked a single, and pinch hitter Brian McCann singled to score pinch runner Kelly Johnson.
‘‘That ninth inning is the hardest one — it really is,’’ said Sox manager Robin Ventura, who saw it from his office after being ejected in the second inning for arguing a decision to reverse a call that Adrian Nieto was safe at second as he avoided a tag.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi argued Nieto had run outside the baseline, and the umpires agreed after conferring. It was Ventura’s eighth career ejection.
The loss prevented the Sox (25-26) from getting above .500 for only the second time this season.
Yankees closer David Robertson, who blew the save and took the loss Friday, rebounded Saturday by striking out three in the 10th for his 10th save.
The Sox have struggled to find a closer to replace traded Addison Reed. The staff has only nine saves in 16 opportunities.
Belisario’s time as closer might be short-lived.
‘‘I think we’re at a point where we’ve got other guys that have the ability to do it,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It’s not the time to do that right now. [Belisario] was throwing strikes. It’s not like he was walking guys.’’
The crowd of 33,413 was the largest since Opening Day (37,422).