Thursday, June 26, 2014

Game of the Day (6/25/14)

Orioles 5, White Sox 4 (12). Chicago's Hector Noesi took on Baltimore's Ubaldo Jimenez; the two of them have combined for one ERA+ over 100 since 2010, and that was Noesi's first year in the majors.

Both starters were perfect in the first. Jimenez allowed a double to Adam Dunn in the second, but Dunn was then thrown out trying to advance on a grounder, which kept him from scoring on Dayan Viciedo's subsequent single. Noesi allowed a hit to JJ Hardy in the bottom of the inning, but nothing else; the same happened in both halves of the third, with the hits courtesy of Adam Eaton and Nick Markakis, respectively.

Chicago opened the scoring when Jose Abreu led off the fourth with a homer, and extended the lead in the fifth when Alejandro de Aza walked and Eaton tripled. Eaton was then thrown out trying to score on a grounder, keeping the game relatively close, but Noesi allowed two total hits (both singles) in innings four through six, so the Orioles weren't taking any particular advantage of the proximity of the score.

The White Sox tacked on another pair of runs in the seventh when Viciedo walked, de Aza doubled, and Flowers singled them both home, though Flowers was thrown out at second on the play. Baltimore attempted a rally in the bottom of the inning; Chris Davis led off with a single, and Hardy and Manny Machado singled later in the inning, but Nelson Cruz hit into a double play before Hardy's hit, defusing any potential for scoring. However, after a scoreless eighth from Darren O'Day, Noesi allowed hits to Nick Hundley and Markakis to start the bottom of the inning and was pulled. Zach Putnam recorded two quick outs, then got yanked in favor of Scott Downs, who walked Davis to load the bases. Javy Guerra then took the mound - and Cruz greeted him with a game-tying grand slam.

Zach Britton worked around a walk to Eaton in the ninth, while Guerra retired the Orioles in order to force extras. Ryan Webb's top of the tenth involved a single, a hit batter, and a stolen base, but it also included a double play that helped him keep the Sox from scoring. Markakis led off the bottom of the inning with a hit against Jake Petricka, but didn't make it past second. Webb combined with Brian Matusz on a spotless eleventh, and Petricka matched them in the bottom of the inning. Matusz permitted a leadoff double to Eaton in the twelfth, but kept him at second, and Daniel Webb walked Hundley (who was pulled for pinch runner David Lough), allowed a Markakis single that moved Lough to third, and then threw a game-ending wild pitch.

This game was a bit of a leadoff showdown - both Adam Eaton and Nick Markakis had four hits, with Eaton having an RBI triple and a double in the top of the twelfth, while Markakis participated in both scoring rallies for Baltimore, including a single that moved the winning run to third. Apart from that, the teams each got one home run, although Baltimore's was much better-timed, which allowed it to counteract the extra four extra-base hits the White Sox compiled.

But the extra-painful part of the game for Chicago fans might be this entry in the missed chances file: the White Sox had runners thrown out on non-force plays at second, third, and home in this game, and lost by a run.

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