(Photo Credit: Associated Press/Paul Beaty)
The White Sox (27-34) salvaged a split with the currently-hot Oakland Athletics (38-27) in a four-game series at The Cell. The A’s pulled ahead early handing the Sox two tough losses, but the good guys rallied back to win two this weekend. Having been a sometimes-hard-to-watch series, I think the best way to sum up each game is by the live-game quotes from our favorite announcer, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson:
Game 1, Thurs. 6/6: “DAAAAAAGANIT! Mercy! Son of a…gun!”
This may have been one of the harder games to watch for Sox fans. Especially when Adam Dunn’s would-have-been-game-tying homer died at the warning track in the tenth inning. This was an emotional moment for Hawk. But there were other missed opportunities throughout the game. Like when Tyler Flowers tried to score from second base on Alejandro De Aza’s single to right, but was promptly tagged out at home by a cannon from Oakland right-fielder Josh Reddick (that run would have put the Sox ahead…). But the two-out homer by Adam Rosales got the win for the A’s in the tenth inning, and the Sox fell 4-5 to the A’s.
Game 2, Fri. 6/7: “It’s going deep! Way back, stretch! And you can out that on the… NOOOO!”
Down by one in the ninth, Josh Reddick robbed Conor Gillaspie of a home run that would have put the Sox on top. This too was an emotional moment for Hawk. The A’s beat out Chris Sale and the White Sox 4-3 by the likes of a Josh Donaldson grand slam—his first career grand slam. Tyler Flowers homered in the third, and Dayan Vicideo and Alejandro De Aza both contributed sac-flies in the following innings. Oakland right-hander Jarrod Parker got the win, walking two and striking out four.
Game 3, Sat. 6/8: “YEEHAW!”
An exciting rally in the eighth inning not only helped the White Sox pull ahead and beat the A’s 4-1, but also stopped Hawk from jumping from the press box. Adam Dunn got an early homer, and the Sox matched the A’s 1-1 throughout the game. In the eighth, Alejandro De Aza led off with an infield single and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Alexei Ramirez before Alex Rios shot a single to center and broke the tie. Paul Konerko followed with a two-run homer to left. John Danks got the win striking out six, walking two, and only allowing three hits in eight innings.
Game 4, Sun. 6/9: “Okay, I’ll take it.”
Alex Rios and Tyler Flowers both knocked single-shot homers as the Sox beat the A’s 4-2 on Sunday. Conor Gillaspie also showed up hot today by robbing some Oakland hits with some nice diving plays at third. Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham both got RBIs as well. Lefty-pitcher Hector Santiago got the win, and allowed two runs—only one earned—while striking out six and walking three.
The White Sox look as though they are waking up, but they’ll need more than that to pull back in to good standings in the AL Central (where they currently sit in last place). Good news is they play the last place team in the AL East on Monday, the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox are going to need to keep up their current momentum—especially in the hitting department—if they plan to pull ahead in the standings and prove they aren’t a tired, fading team.