Matt Thornton shrugs off blown save
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com April 6, 2011 9:26PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five games into the season, and new closer Matt Thornton finally got his first save opportunity Wednesday.
It wasn’t what Thornton had in mind.
After the Sox rallied from a three-run deficit to take a 7-6 lead against Royals closer Joakim Soria, Thornton got his shot. But he gave up an RBI double to Kila Ka’aihue in the bottom of the ninth, pushing the game to extra innings. Thornton pitched a scoreless 10th before giving way to Chris Sale.
“Doesn’t matter what happens in a game as long as we win,’’ Thornton said.
The Sox’ victories in their first two games in Cleveland were by five runs, offering no chance for Thornton, who pitched an inning in the Sox’ 7-1 loss to the Indians on Sunday.
In that one, Thornton retired two of four hitters. Three runs scored, but none were charged to him.
“I come in with the bases loaded, give up a base hit and sacrifice fly and all three runs score, so it was a bad situation for the first one,’’ Thornton said. “But you get it out of the way, get the nerves out of the way and make the adjustments.’’
An All-Star setup man last season, Thornton is used to those situations, so he wasn’t using the “it wasn’t a save situation” excuse.
“That has nothing to do with me walking a guy on four pitches,’’ he said. “It’s about making good pitches no matter the situation.’’
Quentin on a roll
Carlos Quentin went 4-for-6 with a home run and two doubles, getting four hits in a game for the fifth time in his career, the first time since his MVP-type season in 2008.
Quentin (.500) has had an MVP first five games.
“That’s the beauty of baseball,’’ Quentin said. “Sometimes you have situations where you are just locked in.’’
Phil Humber, who is slated to start Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays, pitched two scoreless innings in relief. Humber threw 39 pitches, but he’ll keep his starting spot.
◆ Mark Buehrle gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings, walking two (one intentionally) and striking out two. In two starts, Buehrle (7.36 ERA) has allowed 16 hits in 11 innings.
◆ Konerko became the second player in Sox history with RBI in the first five games of a season. The other player was Carlos Lee in 2000.
◆ Ramon Castro hit a 418-foot home run against Royals starter Jeff Francis.
◆ Outfielder Dayan Viciedo (fractured right thumb) came off the disabled list and was reinstated to Class AAA Charlotte.