White Sox fall on extra-inning walk-off in Baltimore

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White Sox fall on extra-inning walk-off in Baltimore

Friday, Aug. 6, 2010
Updated 10:43 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

BALTIMORE - He's been portrayed on these pages as an awesome incarnation of Marvel comics character (as Hulque Increible) and has a twin roaming around in a State Farm commercial, but really, no one around these parts thought of Carlos Quentin as much of an actor.

But ultimately the right fielder's newfound dramatic flair on defense couldn't avoid a Chicago White Sox loss to the Baltimore Orioles in a 10-inning nailbiter.

Adam Jones provided the winner on a bouncer to left, plating Nick Markakis for a 2-1 win.

"Great pitching on both sides," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. We couldn't get anything going all night long: no excitement. They pitched well, and we were chasing a few bad pitches."

"It was fun," said White Sox starter John Danks, while acknowledging the game being frustrating at times as well. "It was one of those where we felt any kind of mistake could be the ballgame."

Baltimore starter Brad Bergesen dueled Danks to a standoff, recording five Ks and giving up only five hits over seven innings. He fell short of earning the win, but did record the fourth quality start in four tries for Oriole starters on their current homestand.

Earlier, it was Quentin's dramatic flair on Felix Pie's seventh-inning line-drive-trap-called-out, fashioned with the right fielder's customary slide-tackle dive that was as significant a play in the game as Ty Wigginton's run-scoring duck snort to left to put the Orioles on the board in the first or Gordon Beckham's solo shot in the third that tied the game for Chicago.

Quentins play, a second shanked call by first-base umpire Jerry Crawford on the night, drew newly-restruck O's manager Buck Showalter out to the dance floor for some jawing, as Pie Tazmanian Devil-dusted himself at first base. Showalter show lasted so long, Guillen jogged out to third-base ump Chris Guccione, wondering why Showalter's open-mic stint was getting an extended run. The two longtime enemies glared at one another as they walked into their respective dugouts, promising a lively four-game wraparound set this weekend.

"I think Showalter was out there too long," said Guillen, acknowledging his concern that Danks stay warm. "But he was just doing his job, and I was doing mine, trying to protect my pitcher."

In the top of that frame came and went the White Sox's only true scoring chance beyond Beckham's dinger. With one out, Mark Kotsay turned extended his road-trip binge with a deep blast to right-center that turned into a standup triple (at games end Kotsay stood at a smoking 7-for-20 on the road trip with a double, two triples, a homer and five RBI). But the designated hitter ran himself into the second out when he broke for home on Alexei Ramirez's squibber down the first-base line. While first baseman Wigginton made a dandy play on the ball, the skipper was hoping for a more conservative approach.

"I wanted the ball to go through, Guillen said. "But when Kotsay saw the little roller, he took a chance. It was a fine decision either way."

"The play was for the ball to go through," Kotsay agreed. "But Wigginton made a good, barehanded play, so you just have to tip your cap."

The drama was pinned at a higher pitch from the seventh forward. White Sox Wonderboy Chris Sale started the eighth in relief of Danks-who retired for the night with seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball, chalking up five Ks in the process-but the gangly fireballer walked leadoff hitter Brian Roberts on four pitches, then allowed a jam-shot base tap up the middle to Markakis.

"Bad," was Sale's self-assessment of his major league debut. "I was hyped up and wanted to do well. I just didnt have any feel. I've just got to get more prepared for the next time and take this as a learning experience."

In spite of Sale's shaky debut, Guillen was encouraged.

"I liked what I saw," he said. "I want to see what I have. He's not scared. You're going to see him in those types of situations more often. He's here for a reason."

Tony Pena relieved Sale with two on and none out, and promptly threw a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third with none out. Wigginton was retired on a screaming liner to third, and cleanup hitter Luke Scott was intentionally walked to set up an inning-ending double play. Jones popped to third, and Pena coaxed struck out pinch-hitter Corey Patterson on a 3-2 changeup, extending the tie to the ninth.

Danks acknowledged the oddity of this Baltimore series, sandwiched in-between A.L. Central grudge matches with the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins. But both starter and manager saw the Orioles as a formidable opponent, with Danks applauding the Orioles 10-hit attack (sparked by Markakis' four in five at-bats).

"They have a great lineup on paper," Danks said. "It's tough to face them. But we're hoping to win this series and get on a little roll before we get home and play the Twins and Tigers."

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

The last White Sox rebuild: Bobby Howry remembers aftermath of '97 'White Flag' trade

The last White Sox rebuild: Bobby Howry remembers aftermath of '97 'White Flag' trade

Bobby Howry wasn't aware of the fact he was part of one of the more infamous transactions in White Sox history until a few years after it happened. 

In 1997, with the White Sox only 3 1/2 games behind the division-leading Cleveland Indians, general manager Ron Schueler pulled the trigger on a massive trade that left many around Chicago — including some in the White Sox clubhouse — scratching their heads. Heading to the San Francisco Giants was the team's best starting pitcher (left-hander Wilson Alvarez), a reliable rotation piece (Doug Drabek) and a closer coming off a 1996 All-Star appearance (Roberto Hernandez). In return, the White Sox acquired six minor leaguers: right-handers Howry, Lorenzo Barcelo, Keith Foulke, left-hander Ken Vining, shortstop Mike Caruso and outfielder Brian Manning. Only Foulke had major league experience, and it wasn't exactly good (an 8.26 ERA in 44 2/3 innings). 

Howry was largely oblivious to the shocking nature of the trade that brought him from the Giants to White Sox until, before the 1999 season, he was featured in a commercial that referenced the "White Flag trade."

"I don't even know if I knew it was called that before then," Howry recalled last weekend at the Sheraton Grand Chicago at Cubs Convention. 

The trade was a stark signal that youth would be emphasized on 35th and Shields. Both Alvarez and Hernandez were set to become free agents after the 1997 season, and the 40-year-old Darwin wasn't a long-term piece, either. With youngsters like Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee rising through the farm system, the move was made with an eye on the future and maximizing the return on players who weren't going to be long-term pieces. 

Sound familiar? 

It's hardly a perfect comparison, but when the White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in December for four minor leaguers — headlined by top-100 prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech — it was the first rebuilding blockbuster trade the organization had made since the 1997 White Flag deal. Shortly after trading their staff ace at the 2016 Winter Meetings, the White Sox shipped Adam Eaton — their best position player — to the Washington Nationals for a package of prospects featuring two more highly-regarded youngsters in Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. 

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

And there still could be more moves on the horizon, too, for Rick Hahn's White Sox (Jose Quintana has been the subject of persistent rumors since the Winter Meetings). But for those looking for an optimistic outlook of the White Sox rebuilding plans, it's worth noting that the club's last youth movement, to an extent, was successful.

Only Howry (3.74 ERA over 294 games) and Foulke (2.87 ERA, 100 saves over 346 games) became significant long-term pieces for the White Sox from those six players brought over in 1997. And it wasn't like Schueler dealt away any of the franchise's cornerstones — like Frank Thomas, Albert Belle and Robin Ventura — but with future starters in Lee, Ordonez and Chris Singleton on their way the White Sox were able to go young. A swap of promising youthful players (Mike Cameron for Paul Konerko) proved to be successful a year and a half later. 

And with a couple of shrewd moves — namely, dealing Jamie Navarro and John Snyder to the Milwaukee Brewers for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin — the "Kids Can Play" White Sox stormed to an American League Central title in 2000. 

"It was great," Howry said of developing with so many young players in the late 1999's and 2000. "You come in and you feel a lot more comfortable when you got a lot of young guys and you're all coming up together and building together. It's not like you're walking into a primarily veteran clubhouse where you're kind of having to duck and hide all the time. We had a great group of guys and we built together over a couple of years, and putting that together was a lot of fun."

What sparked things in 2000, Howry said, was that ferocious brawl with the Detroit Tigers on April 22 in which 11 players were ejected (the fight left Foulke needing five stitches and former Tigers catcher/first baseman Robert Fick doused in beer). 

"About the time we had that fight with Detroit, that big brawl, all of a sudden after then we just seemed to kind of come together and everything started to click and it took off," Howry said. 

The White Sox went 80-81 in 1998 and slipped to 75-86 in 1999, but their 95-67 record in 2000 was the best in the league — though it only amounted to a three-game sweep at the hands of the wild-card winning Seattle Mariners. 

Still, the White Flag trade had a happy ending two and a half years later. While with the White Sox, Howry didn't feel pressure to perform under the circumstances with which he arrived, which probably helped those young players grow together into eventual division champions. 

"I was 23 years old," Howry said. "At 23 years old, I didn't really — I was just like, okay, I'm still playing, I got a place to play. I didn't really put a whole lot of thought into three veteran guys for six minor leaguers." 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins discusses staying at catcher

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins discusses staying at catcher

White Sox 2016 first round pick Zack Collins joins the podcast to talk about his future with the White Sox, when he hopes to make the big leagues and the doubters who question whether he can be a major league catcher.   He discusses comparisons with Kyle Schwarber, his impressions of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, why his dad took him to a Linkin Park concert when he was 6 years old and much more.