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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sox Fizzle on the Fourth

July 4 vs. the Swingin' A's

"These ain't your daddy's White Sox... We're going to keep going after a championship as aggressively as we can."

KW's Hand
Pocket Rockets
How can you not have Rockets on the 4th of July?

Short Take:   Camouflage jerseys not enough to hide from the mighty bats of Jack Cust and the A’s

The Sox played a lethargic brand of baseball on Friday night at the Cell en route to a disappointing 7-1 loss to the scrappy Oakland Athletics. The defeat, the second in a row to the A’s, narrowed the Sox AL Central lead over the pesky Twins to one game. The loss, only the third by the Sox in their last 11 games, drops their season record to 49-37, while they still maintain an amazing home mark of 30-13 (3rd best in baseball).

Back at Soxfest in January, Brooks Boyer told the story about Mark Buehrle’s 2007 contract signing, with one of the stipulations being that the Sox break out the San Diego Padre-like camouflage jerseys for at least one game in 2008. As fate would have it, Buehrle got the ball on the day the Sox donned the jerseys. Unfortunately, Buehrle’s performance, along with the sluggish corpse-ball by the Sox offense, made it a dreadful night.

With James Hoye calling a narrow strike zone and not giving Buehrle any help on the corners, the Swingin’ A’s were all over his stuff while knocking him around for 10 hits with three walks over 5.2 innings. Jack Cust, the A’s hero from Thursday night, drew first blood with a two-run homer in the top of the fourth after Emil Brown reached base on a hit. The Sox quickly answered in the bottom half of the 4th to get one back when Carlos Quentin walked and was driven in by Jim Thome's rbi double.

With a 2-1 lead in the top of the 6th, Oakland would tack on two more runs and end Buehrle’s disappointing night. After a one-out single by rookie CF Carlos Gonzalez, Jack Hannahan doubled to right field to score Gonzalez, giving the A’s a 3-1 lead. After an intentional walk to Mark Ellis, former Sox prospect Ryan Sweeney amazingly hit the ball out of the infield (never saw him do that here last summer) with a single up the middle to score Hannahan and give the A’s a three run lead.

Nick Masset, on in relief for Buehrle and Dotel, looked unimpressive in the seventh. Brown, Cust and Wes Bankston hit consecutive singles up the middle. Brown scored on Bankston’s single to give the A’s a 5-1 lead. Donnie Murphy (no relation to former A’s outfielder Dwayne Murphy, or former A’s infielder Donnie Hill for that matter) singled to score Cust to put the A’s up 6-1. Murphy would also double in Rajai Davis in the 9th to end the A’s scoring at seven runs.

Joe Blanton dominated the Pale Hose with seven innings of five-hit baseball. Blanton, a righty, came into the game with a disconcerting 4-11 record and a 4.97 ERA. In June alone, his ERA was 7.16. This is a guy the Sox should have more success against. Hopefully it was just an off night. Buehrle gets the loss (6-7) and the Sox look to Gavin Floyd to stop the bleeding on Saturday night and hopefully start a mini-winning streak to salvage a series split. Game time is 6:05pm at the Cell. Floyd opposes soft-tossing lefty Greg Smith. Smith is crafty and has a good command of the strike-zone. Could be a long night…

WSI's
Quest For the Final Table Update:
  Sox still holding on, but Minnesota won't go away.


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Thome

RBI Double in the 4th.

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