After a rain out Friday night in the city of brotherly love, the White Sox and Phillies played two on a very hot Saturday in Philadelphia.
The first game started off well for the White Sox for the most part, including more life out of the offense. Weird, I know.
After getting out to a quick 2-0 deficit, the squad bounced back in the fifth inning. After Josh Phegley and Gordon Beckham singles, Alejandro De Aza drove both of them in with a double, tying the game at two.
They then took the lead on a Conor Gillaspie sacrifice fly RBI in the sixth inning before Darin Ruf tied the game with a solo home run.
After some timely pitching from Matt Lindstrom, Donnie Veal, and Nate Jones, the Sox & Phils headed to extras.
But the best story from the first nine frames for us Sox fans was Johnny Danks, who made yet another strong start. After letting up two quick runs in the first inning, he got dialed in and hit a rhythm until the Ruf homer in the seventh. He's starting to throw the ball much more accurately and confidently, which as we know is key to his game.
If the Sox really are getting back the John Danks of old, they're getting a huge boost to the ball club and gaining yet another experienced, valuable asset.
The good guys finally broke through in the 11th inning with a pair of runs on an Alexei Ramirez double to right-center field. He went 4-for-6 on the afternoon and raised his average to .289.
Addison Reed did let up a run in the bottom half of the frame, but he induced a game-ending double play to pick up his 24th save of the season. His ERA is at 3.95 on the season, for those wondering.
In the night game, most players were already exhausted … but they were more than nine innings away from being done for the day.
It was a pitcher's duel between Hector Santiago and John Lannan, with our young, hard-throwing lefty really lighting up the stat sheet. Hector threw 7.1 innings of three hit ball in which he walked just one hitter and struck out nine. His ERA is now down to 3.30 as he continues to do nothing but impress the organization.
The only run he let up was on John Mayberry Jr.'s seventh home run of the season in the seventh inning.
He's already thrown more pitches (1,560) than he ever has in an MLB season, but doesn't seem to be slowing down. Opponents have a low .221 batting average against Santiago which, if he qualified, looks like it'd be about the 15th best in all of baseball (among SP's).
But, what'ya know, the offense didn't show up enough to get him a 'W.'
The only run that the offense could produce was on a Gordon Beckham RBI sac fly in the fifth inning after spoiling good opportunities to score in the first and fourth innings.
In the 11th inning, Jeff Keppinger tried to score on a Tyler Flowers single, but was thrown out at home to keep the game tied at one-apiece.
It is worth noting that the White Sox bullpen did a very nice job once again. Matt Lindistrom, newly re-called Donnie Veal, Ramon Troncoso, and David Purcey all came came in and left unscathed, but rookie Simon Castro was tagged for a run in his second inning of worth in the 13th.
In the 12th inning, Gordon Beckham collided with Casper Wells down the line in short right field and hurt his thigh. The injury was described as a 'charley horse,' so he'll be kept on the bench Sunday before getting a few more days to rest during the All Star break.