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|Paul Konerko drove in the game-winning run after Eric Thames and Michael Saunders collided on the warning track Friday.|
CHICAGO -- Baseball logic will tell you that when a team blows a big lead in the ninth inning, it rarely comes back to win.
As has been the case so many times this season, the White Sox proved logic has little to do with their success during Friday night’s ninth-inning win over the Mariners.
After blowing a five-run lead in the top of the ninth, the White Sox scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth with the game-winning run coming on Paul Konerko’s single. On that, hit the collision of two Mariners outfielders allowed Dewayne Wise to score from second base. The win was Sox’s sixth walk-off victory of the season.
The unlikely outcome left Robin Ventura relieved.
“When you are watching, it goes from a nice win to a terrible loss to a good win again,” Ventura said. “You aren’t always going to be perfect.”
Although Phil Humber and Addison Reed blew a five-run lead and a win for starter Jake Peavy ,the end result was another improbable victory for a team that appears destined for postseason play.
“We didn’t draw it up that way,” Peavy said. “It was a big night for the boys to come back. Things got ugly in the ninth, but to come away with a win on a night when Detroit lost -- we’ll take it. We don’t want to try and win many more like that.”
The White Sox now have a 2 ½ game lead on the Tigers in the American League Central Division.
Winning improbable games has become second nature for this group of determined players.
“As long as we get those 3-4-5 hitters up, I always believe we have a chance,” said Kevin Youkilis, who drove in the tying run with a single in the 9th inning. “We just pieced together great at-bats and won a ball game.”
Peavy’s hard luck continued; he has not won a game since Aug. 1, despite an ERA of 2.93 in his past six starts.
“I don’t know if you make your own luck,” Peavy said. “You certainly play hard, and when you prepare, sometimes preparation meets opportunity, and that’s what creates luck.”