Series finale ends with White Sox falling in extra innings

Series finale ends with White Sox falling in extra innings
July 10, 2014, 6:30 pm
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BOSTON — Mike Carp did what the entirety of the White Sox offense couldn’t do on Thursday — produced with a runner in scoring position.

The Boston Red Sox pinch hitter delivered a one-out RBI single to lift his team to a 4-3 victory over the White Sox in 10 innings at Fenway Park. Carp followed an intentional walk to Stephen Drew with a single to left off Ronald Belisario that scored Daniel Nava with the winning run.

The White Sox, who finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranded a pair of runners in the top of the 10th inning. The White Sox, who had to settle for a series split after winning the first two of a four-game series, forced extra innings with Conor Gillaspie’s pinch-hit, two-run homer off Red Sox closer Koji Uehara in the top of the ninth inning.

“We had plenty of guys on base to knock in and didn’t do it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We had opportunities and just didn’t take advantage of it.

“We had opportunities. They did a better than we did at taking advantage of guys on base.”

Ventura was talking about the entire contest but could have very well just focused on the 10th inning itself.

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Tied at 4, Adam Eaton, who had three hits, opened with a single up the middle off Boston’s Andrew Miller. Even though he knew they’d pitch around Jose Abreu, who doubled in Eaton in the first inning, Ventura opted to have Gordon Beckham bunt Eaton to second to stay out of the double play knowing the White Sox had two more chances with runners in scoring position.

Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez responded with a combined 115 feet worth of comebackers and the White Sox came up empty.

Nava then drew a walk to start the 10th inning on another close 3-2 pitch where the White Sox didn’t appreciate the call of plate umpire Marvin Hudson. Then after a sac bunt, Ventura elected to have Belisario walk Stephen Drew to set up a force play. Carp then hit a 2-2 sinker through the left side for the game-winning single.

The Red Sox went 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position unlike their counterparts, who stranded a man at second base in the first, second and fourth innings and a pair in the sixth. That’s when Red Sox starter Jon Lester struck out Paul Konerko and got Moises Sierra to foul out with runners on second and third. Lester struck out 12 batters over seven innings of one-run ball.

“Facing Lester, runs don’t come as an easy task,” Eaton said. “It was nice to get one on the board early, but we didn’t try to add on there in the middle innings.

“It’s a tough loss.”

Gillaspie’s heroics in the ninth helped Jose Quintana avoid another tough-luck defeat, but he deserved better once again.

Perfect through five innings, Quintana fell out of rhythm in the sixth.

Leading 1-0, Quintana had been razor sharp to that point as he used his curveball to keep Boston’s offense off-balance.

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But he just missed on consecutive close 3-2 pitches to Drew and David Ross to start the sixth inning with two walks. A third full-count pitch to Jackie Bradley Jr. resulted in a game-tying RBI single to right.

Quintana got a pair of grounders to keep the score tied until Ortiz ripped a 3-1 pitch off the Green Monster for a two-run double to put Boston ahead 3-1.

“It was a good pitch (to Drew),” Quintana said. “He called this pitch all the game. But I don’t have control over the umpire and I needed to get out before this count. I didn’t feel comfortable after the first walk because it was the first time I was in the stretch in the game.

“I feel bad. One bad inning I had in (seven) is three runs.”

Quintana allowed three earned runs and two hits with two walks over seven innings. He struck out seven.

Though Ventura was frustrated by close calls, he was more upset with how the White Sox produced in the clutch.

“(Quintana) was breezing through five and had a couple of unfortunate walks there,” Ventura said. “Probably got squeezed on the second one. That doesn’t mean he didn’t pitch well. He just kind of unraveled right there.

“You look up there and they had two hits and three runs — they took advantage of their opportunities.”