Friday, May 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Angels 4
By Dan Arritt Special to ESPNChicago.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The White Sox rallied from a two-run deficit Thursday night by scoring three runs in the eighth and then holding on for a 5-4 victory, their third consecutive win to match their season high.
How it happened: When White Sox second baseman Jeff Keppinger stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning of a tied game, he had gone 140 plate appearances without drawing a walk this season, the most in the major leagues. Angels reliever Michael Kohn had walked the previous two batters so it wasn't entirely a surprise when he threw four straight balls to Keppinger, forcing in Adam Dunn with the go-ahead run. Jesse Crain pitched the eighth for his 15th consecutive scoreless outing and Addison Reed retired the Angels in order in the ninth for his 13th save.
What it means: The White Sox moved to within four games of the Tigers and Indians in the American League Central, taking advantage of one of the worst outings in the career of Detroit ace Justin Verlander, who couldn't get out of the third inning in a 10-4 loss to the Rangers earlier in the day. The White Sox are back to three games under .500 for the first time since May 2 and didn't commit an error for the second straight game, something they did 30 times through the first 37 games.
Outside the box:Alex Rios came into the game ranked third among active American League outfielders in assists with 79. He added to that total in the third inning after Angels catcher Chris Iannetta singled to center to represent the game's first base runner. He was sacrificed to second and attempted to score on Erick Aybar's liner to right, but Rios came up throwing and nailed Iannetta at the plate with a perfect one-hop throw to end the inning. Rios then further quieted the crowd with a solo homer to left with two outs in the fourth, giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead and extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
Off beat: In an interesting scoring decision in the fifth inning, Keppinger was awarded an RBI on a hard grounder to Aybar at shortstop with the infield in and Conor Gillaspie at third. Aybar appeared to have the ball in his glove in plenty of time to throw Gillaspie out at the plate, but lost the ball in transition, allowing Gillaspie to tie the score at 2-2. Aybar was charged with an error, but Keppinger was given an RBI and, thus, the run was earned. Gillaspie, who had doubled to lead off the inning, came in leading American League rookies in base hits (29) and second in extra-base hits (eight).
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale (4-2, 2.88 ERA) to the mound at Angel Stadium in the second game of the four-game series. The Angels will counter with left-hander C.J. Wilson (3-2, 3.88) in the 9:05 p.m. CT start.