Disastrous eighth dooms White Sox in loss to Twins

Disastrous eighth dooms White Sox in loss to Twins
August 2, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Alejandro De Aza and Adam Eaton certainly didn't duck their mistakes.

In the top of the eighth, De Aza dropped a two-out line drive that allowed Minnesota to score the go-ahead run. And in the bottom of the frame, Eaton was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double with the tying run on third as the White Sox lost, 8-6, front of 27,446 at U.S. Cellular Field Saturday night.

"I feel bad because I think I can make that play," De Aza said. "Today it didn't happen. I'm going to try to work harder to not make that mistake again."

"It was stupid," Eaton said. "Stupid. Stupid on my part." 
 
The White Sox entered the eighth with a two-run lead, the product of a four-run outburst in the bottom of the seventh. Eaton delivered a game-tying two-run double, then scored the go-ahead run on Gordon Beckham's rocket off the right field wall. Alexei Ramirez added an RBI single to give the White Sox that two-run cushion.

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Things began to come unraveled in the eighth when, with one out, Ronald Belisario sandwiched a hit by pitch around singles off the bats of Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki's single scored Plouffe and knocked Belisario out of the game as manager Robin Ventura turned to Jake Petricka to put out the fire. 

Petricka got Kennys Vargas to ground out for the second out, but Oswaldo Arcia followed by ripping a line drive toward De Aza in left. De Aza broke back but got turned around, opening up and making a last-ditch lunge while backpedaling. He couldn't hold on to the ball, which bounced to the ground and allowed two runs to score, putting Minnesota up by a run.

"It’s one of those probably you look at it as he should make it," Ventura said. "Tough play spinning around. (Arcia) hit it hard. That’s the way it goes. 

"We battled and did all the things to try to win a game and you come up short. That’s it. There were a lot of other things that happened we could do better to win. I’m not pinning it on him. He had a good game. He could catch it and most times he does. This time he didn’t."

Eaton's aggressiveness wound up costing the White Sox a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the inning.

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Adrian Nieto took a two-out walk, and Eaton followed by hitting a line drive that deflected off Plouffe's glove at first base. Eaton said he misread the ball and thought he could've taken second, even with pinch runner Moises Sierra the tying run at third. 

"I saw it go off his glove and kind of thought it bounced a different direction," Eaton said. "I thought it went toward more the warning track. It's ignorant on my part. It's stupid, unbelievable how dumb that was. 

"You put your team in that position to maybe have first and third. Again, you don't pick up the baseball where it needs to be and like I said, dumb play on my part. It was just stupid."

His manager was a little more forgiving, given Eaton's aggressiveness on the basepaths has generally been a positive this year. 

"He’s always aggressive and doing that," Ventura said. "You know, close play, they made the play. That’s the way it goes."

The loss robbed the White Sox of a shot at sweeping Minnesota and reaching the .500 mark with a win on Sunday. And too, Jose Abreu's 21-game hitting streak came to an end with an 0-3 night, though he walked twice (once intentionally).