- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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CHICAGO –The White Sox haven’t figured how to stop making mistakes in the field, they are just learning how to make up for them.
Two more errors Tuesday nearly sank their ship again, but Alexei Ramirez made amends for his with two home runs, including one in walk-off style with two outs in the 10th inning. The White Sox pulled off a 6-5 victory after leading by three runs at one point.
“Yeah of course you would be kind of upset with yourself after making that error but you kind of think about what you did, correct that and think about the next at-bat which is what I did,” Ramirez said through interpreter Jackson Miranda.
It wasn’t exactly the very next at-bat after Ramirez’s fifth-inning error, but he kept his head in the game long enough to salvage things.
Ramirez hit a three-run home run as part of a four-run second inning, but that was but a memory when Kurt Suzuki’s ground ball ate him up at shortstop after he went to one knee to field it. To make matters worse, a shaky Edwin Jackson was pulled after the miscue with two outs, meaning he was just one out away from being eligible for a victory.
After the half inning, Ramirez could be seen in the dugout with his face buried in his hands. He continued to fidget in the dugout in obvious frustration. An inning later, Alex Rios dropped a fly ball while on the run in center field .
“Everybody was [upset],” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “People don’t want to make errors. We’re not playing good defense right now, the defense we know we can play. That’s part of the game. In the meanwhile, one of the toughest decisions we have to make is taking Jackson out with one out [remaining]. He couldn’t get the win. It was a bad feeling about it.”
Jackson was obviously not happy about being removed after throwing 100 pitches and even appeared to look back at Ramirez at shortstop as he walked off the field.
If a rift were to develop between the pitchers and the defense, this appeared to be a moment when the gulf began to widen considerably. Funny how a dramatic victory helps to quell such issues.
“He’s the man of the game,” Jackson said of Ramirez. “He came in and did a great job, especially being the last batter coming into that inning. We were all definitely hoping he would hit a home run and he did just that.
“It was great for him to come in and have a multi-homer game, especially the last one, when he can take the victory.”
The game-winning home run still might not be enough to quiet the sarcasm at the ballpark. After dropping fly balls during ninth-inning meltdowns in each of the last two White Sox defeats, left fielder Juan Pierre was greeted with mock cheers each time he made a play.
“I know we’re not playing well, we’ve made a couple mistakes there that cost us a couple games, but every time we catch the ball and fans are going to boo, I don’t think that’s fair,” Guillen said. “I think I know we all want to win, but every fly ball we’re going to get booed? Don’t kick them in the back when they’re down. Try to support them.
“I don’t see any better center fielder than Alex and the way Juan plays for the White Sox the past couple years, I don’t think he deserves that every fly ball he catches people booing him. You’re going to boo someone, boo me. Because I’m the one who makes the lineup and I’m the one who plays those guys.”
Defense nearly proves costly again but Ramirez saves the day.