By Jake Rill
BALTIMORE – Things were starting to look bad for White Sox closer Addison Reed again.
A day after giving up a walk-off two-run single to Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, Reed was back out on the mound at Camden Yards in a save situation Sunday afternoon.
This time, though, things ended much better.
Reed loaded the bases by walking Wieters, giving up a single to Nick Markakis, and then walking J.J. Hardy. Ryan Flaherty came up and hit a deep foul ball to right. Had it been fair, it would’ve been another loss for the Sox.
But Reed got Flaherty to ground in a fielder’s choice and Brian Roberts to pop out in foul territory. On the pop-up, Orioles pinch runner Chris Dickerson was doubled up at first base after he ran on initial contact.
And the White Sox were back in the win column with a 4-2 win.
“Just forget about what happened before,” Reed said. “Obviously I was having a tough time throwing strikes and there was nothing I did different. I was just trying to focus on the glove and hit it where he was setting up and kind of found it towards the end. I wish I could’ve started that from the beginning of the inning.”
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What was important was that Reed did that at the end.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura made a visit to the mound, however, to try to calm his closer down when he did the bases loaded.
“He told me just throw strikes,” Reed said. “Obviously I think everybody knows it 100 times easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count.”
Ventura said it was big for Reed to bounce back from Saturday’s performance by picking up his 37th save.
“I don’t think all closers do it pretty, but the bottom line is he got it done,” Ventura said.
If Dickerson hadn’t ran on contact on Roberts’ pop-up, the Orioles would have had runners on the corners with two outs and Manny Machado at the plate as the go-ahead run.
But Reed said he’s happy things played out the way they did.
“I think I’m more glad than surprised,” Reed said. “I don’t think he knew where it was and thankfully he didn’t and we’re sitting here right now.”
It wasn’t the cleanest performance, but it got the job done and helped the Sox avoid tying their season-high losing streak of 10 games.
“We never make it easy,” White Sox first baseman Jeff Keppinger said. “We made it exciting. Luckily he got out of it and we got a double play right there at the end to win it.”