Sox Top Braves To Open Second Half
The White Sox opened the second half with a series win in Chicago over the visiting, first place, Atlanta Braves. The Sox came into the break dropping two of three to the Philadelphia Phillies and were looking to take away a series from Atlanta who were 5-5 in their last ten before the series, and are single handedly responsible for the Phillies feeling like they may contend for the playoffs this fall.
Game one saw a fairly even matchup between starters John Danks for the Pale Hose and Tim Hudson for the Braves. Both went seven innings with Hudson giving up one less run than Danks. Unfortunately, the White Sox bullpen could not shut down the Braves offense, who added a run to their lead off of Nate Jones in the eighth. Additionally, the Braves bullpen shut down the White Sox bats, only allowing one hit in 1.2 innings. The Braves would take the opener, but the South Siders would rally.
In the middle game, the Sox would have Jake Peavy return from the DL to make his first start in front of ~27,000 fans, most seemed to be scouts. Peavy pitched an outstanding game is his return to action as he only allowed two earned runs (4 runs total) on two hits, while striking out three. Atlanta’s starter, Paul Maholm, a former North Sider, didn’t fare too well on his return to the South Side as he surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits. Peavy’s relief struggled at points with Ramon Troncoso and Donnie Veal surrendering a run each. But there were no worries as the White Sox offense kept piling on runs against Atlanta’s Dave Carpenter. Addison Reed came on in a non-save situation and slammed the door for a White Sox winner. However, Alex Rios was key in the game as he went 3-5 with 2 runs scored and 5 RBI, further increasing the likeliness he’ll be dealt.
The rubber match would feature Jose Quintana versus Mike Minor, and boy was it a rubber match. Jose Quintana pitched marvelously as he worked out of jams and let his defense, specifically Jeff Keppinger, work behind him. Adam Dunn did something you don’t see him do often when he hit to the opposite field to drive in Alejandro De Aza in the bottom of the first. In other feats of amazement, Casper Wells robbed former Cub, Reed Johnson, of a game tying home run in the top of the eighth innings. Another funny thing to see was the Braves outhitting the White Sox by four hits and still not producing many runs. Mike Minor went the distance in this one, saving the bullpen, but not the day. That was reserved for Addison Reed who notched his 25th save and a series win for the Sox over the Braves.