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Friday, August 23, 2013
HR is latest odd moment for White Sox

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- In a long and frustrating season, the Chicago White Sox added another oddity to the 2013 archive.

The Texas Rangers’ Ian Kinsler ended up with an inside-the-park home run Friday on a ball hit down the left-field line that didn’t even reach the outfield wall. It was one of five Rangers home runs during an 11-5 victory that ended the White Sox’s six-game winning streak.

White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo gave chase on a ball that Kinsler hooked toward the stands along the foul line. As Viciedo arrived, though, the ball worked its way under some padding.

Viciedo looked for the ball where it first went out of sight and when he couldn’t find it, he held up his hands to signal that the ball was lost. But the ball had merely worked its way under the padding about 10 feet where it disappeared from Viciedo’s view, rolling along what looked to be a cable.

By the time Viciedo finally found the ball and threw it back into the infield, Kinsler had scored. Third-base umpire Greg Gibson never called the ball dead.

“[Gibson] just said he could see it,” said manager Robin Ventura, who was eventually ejected for arguing the call. “I figured he got on his hands and knees to go get it, you'd think it would be lodged under there pretty good and they'd rule a double. But they didn't.”

In a season where not much has gone right for pitcher Chris Sale, the left-hander wasn’t thinking of the play as another sign of his bad luck.

“It is what it is; I didn’t do my job 10 percent correctly tonight,” Sale said. “You can’t ask anybody to be 100 percent every night out. Maybe [Gibson] missed it, maybe he didn’t. I don’t know how that rule stands. Certainly I thought it wasn’t [a live ball] and I think Robin [thought the same]. You can’t harp on someone for not being perfect. It is what it is and move on.”

Raising your arms on a lost ball doesn’t always guarantee a dead ball. The White Sox do not appear to have a ground rule for a ball that goes under that padding.

“Yeah, I think [Viciedo] did everything he could to get to that ball,” Sale said. “He threw his arms up and I couldn’t see it from the mound. Obviously he couldn’t see it out there. You see him like a mechanic on his hands and knees, getting underneath the car trying to get to that. I know he did everything he could to get to it and try to make the right play.

“Baseball is a crazy sport. You never know what you are going to get from it. Crazy things happen in this game and it’s probably not the last time it’s going to happen.”

It was the first inside-the-park home run given up by the White Sox since 2009, when the Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford had one.