- Jesse Rogers, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: Marcus Semien singled off reliever Justin Grimm to bring home Alexei Ramirez in the top of the 12th. Grimm then hit Paul Konerko to load the bases before walking Alejandro De Aza to bring home another run. Grimm took gave up two hits, two walks and two runs to take the loss. The White Sox led 1-0 through the first half of the game as Mike Olt's first-inning throwing error helped plate an unearned run, with De Aza coming home on a Jose Abreu sacrifice fly. From then on Jeff Samardzija shut the door, but his White Sox counterpart, Jose Quintana, was just as good, not allowing a hit until Samardzija led off the sixth with a double. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Junior Lake. Samardzija went nine innings, giving up three hits and two walks, both in the ninth; Quintana went seven, giving up just the one hit. Starlin Castro went 0-for-5, leaving three runners on -- including the potential winning run on second in the bottom of the 11th.
What it means: This could go down as one of the best games Samardzija has participated in. He was a one-man wrecking crew in all phases. He made one great play in the field, bare-handing a high-bouncing ball over his head and throwing to first ... only to have Anthony Rizzo drop it. He also nailed a runner at home with a nice flip. Then came his double to break up Quintana's no-hit bid. His main job was to get White Sox hitters out and he did plenty of that as well. His ninth inning was all guts as he surpassed 120 pitches after walking back-to-back hitters. On his 126th and final pitch of the night, he induced a double-play grounder off the bat of Dayan Viciedo. It was a great performance on the big stage, par for the course for Samardzija, who lowered his ERA to 1.62.
Samardzija: The strange accomplishments continue to pile up for the Cubs righty. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Samardzija is tied with four others as the only pitchers to give up three or fewer runs in their first seven starts of the season without recording a victory. He’s the only one of the five pitchers to last at least five innings in each start.
The conditions: Once again the hitting conditions were not ideal, as the game-time temperature read 41 degrees, with a stiff wind mostly blowing in. The teams combined for 10 hits in 12 innings.
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