More bullpen woes for White Sox in 12-inning loss

More bullpen woes for White Sox in 12-inning loss
June 25, 2014, 11:30 pm
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BALTIMORE -- Jose Abreu continued the fastest start by a rookie in major league history with his 23rd home run on Wednesday night.

Too bad he can’t pitch out of the bullpen.

Abreu belted another round-tripper on Wednesday but the White Sox bullpen blew a four-run lead and lost 5-4 to the Baltimore Orioles in 12 innings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Two days after Ronald Belisario gave up a game-winning, three-run homer, Javy Guerra allowed a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning to Nelson Cruz. Four innings later, Daniel Webb’s wild pitch allowed pinch runner David Lough to score from third as the White Sox fell to 1-6 on their trip.

“I blame this game on myself,” Guerra said. “Realistically you can’t let that happen. You’ve got to be better in the situation, no matter what. You live and die, but you’ve got to understand the situation, the people behind him and understand where the lineup’s at. I solely blame that on myself and feel bad for the team in general because I know I let everyone down.”

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Led by Abreu, the White sox built a four-run lead against Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Abreu ripped the first pitch he saw from Jimenez in the fourth over the fence in left to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

The homer gives Abreu more long balls through 65 games played than Wally Berger and Mark McGwire, who each had 22 in 1930 and 1987, respectively.

An inning later, Adam Eaton, who tied a career-high with four hits and also walked, tripled in a run to put the White Sox ahead by two.

Tyler Flowers added to the advantage in the seventh with a two-run single to deep left as the White Sox grabbed a 4-0 lead.

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That appeared to be more than enough the way Hector Noesi was going.

But this just hasn’t been the White Sox week.

“The baseball gods must be upset with us in some way, shape or form,” Eaton said. “They’ve kind of had it out for us for this last week.”

Have they ever.

Noesi was a ground-ball machine, especially in the middle innings.

He was efficient, too, needing only 62 pitches to complete six innings.

But Baltimore rallied late for a third straight game.

They singled three times off Noesi in the seventh but didn’t score.

The Orioles chased Noesi after two more singles in the eighth. Zach Putnam recorded two outs, but Scott Downs -- who hugged teammates after the game, including one who said ‘Happy trails,’ -- walked Chris Davis to load the bases and Guerra took over.

Cruz got ahead of Guerra 2-1 in the count and then blasted a 95-mph just over the glove of Moises Sierra in right for a game-tying grand slam.

Noesi allowed two earned runs and nine hits over seven-plus innings.

“Every night is different,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You never know exactly what you’re going to get. But you tip your cap to them. They’re the ones, they hit it. It is what it is. It’s not a good way to lose it.

“It’s tough. It’s tough. You want to keep going and put it behind you. We have young guys. You want them to keep being aggressive and play the game.”
The bullpen’s troubles continued when Webb walked Nick Hundley to start the 12th.

Lough took over for Hundley and advanced to third on Nick Markakis’ single to right-center. Ventura asked for umpires to review the play as Lough fell down running around third and third-base coach Bobby Dickerson touched him, which is an out because of illegal touching.

But umpires informed Ventura the play wasn’t reviewable and one pitch later, Webb’s wild pitch allowed the winning run to score.

“It’s not a good start to a long road trip like this,” Webb said. “We lost some tough ones in Minnesota and then coming here, losing the way we did tonight and the first night, it’s tough to swallow, but it’s part of the game. You’re not going to have it your way every night. Hopefully we can go to Toronto and win that series.”