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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sloppy loss snaps streak

July 26, 2003 vs. Tampa Bay

Today's temperature:
"Hey when Hawk and DJ think you are screwing up and are willing to say so, then maybe you really are. The team fight's back from an early deficit to tie, but Jerry won't let the loss get away. I guess they'll have to shave Hawk's head 11 days from now..."

Short Take: Porzio, unproductive offense main culprits as Tampa Bay ends winning streak at eight.  

Well, Sox fans, looks like it will be another week and a half minimum wait to see Hawk Harrelson as a cue ball.

The Sox gave up runs early and often to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in tonight's disheartening loss that had to take even the most positive Sox fan on an unwelcome flashback to April and May.  Clutch hits and pitches were nowhere to be found for the Pinstripes tonight, as the White Sox fell, 10-6.

The game looked to get ugly, early, as the Devil Rays had notched 4 runs before the Sox even got their first base runner.  In the first, Carl Crawford singled to lead off the game against Mike Porzio, journeyman AAA pitcher.  He moved to second on a sac bunt by Antonio Perez, stole third, and scored on a Rocco Baldelli sacrifice fly to left field.  The Sox countered in the first with two groundouts and a pop out by Frank Thomas that just barely didn't clear the area behind home plate.  It would be that kind of night, as Tampa Bay manufactured runs and answered the call, while the Sox struggled against no-name pitching.

Porzio would surrender three more runs in the next two innings, two on a 2-out, 2-run shot to Julio Lugo and the other on Baldelli's solo homer in the third.  With the score already 4-0, the Sox offense finally arose, thanks to the wakening of its star, Frank Thomas.  With two outs in the fourth, he doubled to break-up Rob Bell's perfect game attempt 11 batters into the night.  He would score on a Magglio Ordonez single.  Rick White, who had been brought in to replace the ineffective Porzio the previous inning, however, coughed that run back up in the next frame.  With Crawford standing at third and two out, Jerry Manuel elected to walk Aubrey Huff to get to Toby Hall.  Hall singled sharply into right field to put the 'Rays back up by 4.

The Sox came charging back, however, seemingly poised to keep their streak alive.  After Brian Daubach led off with a ground out, Jose Valentin induced the first free pass of the night from Bell.  He reached third as Joe Crede slapped a single into right field.  With the two on the corners, Sandy Alomar, Jr. drove one just over the left-center wall to bring the South Siders within 1.  After Roberto Alomar grounded out, Carlos Lee singled and advanced to second as Thomas walked.  An Ordonez single brought around the tying run and chased Bell from the game.  Reliever Mike Maslanka, however got Carl Everett to ground to third and end the inning.

And again, Rick White would cough up all the runs he had just been provided.  Matt Diaz and Damian Rolls led off the 5th with a single and double, respectively.  After a fly out, White gave Crawford a free pass to load the bases.  The strategy initially worked, as Perez flew out to 2nd, but Baldelli and Huff nailed consecutive doubles to plate 4 runs and chase White.  Gary Glover needed just one pitch to get an inning-ending grounder from Toby Hall, but the damage had been done.

That was pretty much it.  The Sox would have one last chance to make a dent into the Rays' lead in the eight, when Paul Konerko (who hit for Daubach in the 6th) doubled and Valentin drew his third walk of the game to lead off the 8th.  However, Lou Piniella called for Jesus Colome and his 90+-heater to make little work of the Sox lineup, and he did just that, striking out three in his 2 perfect innings of work to nail down the save for the Rays.  It proved that the fireworks show at the end of the night would be the unfortunate highlight of the evening for the 29,633 Sox fans in attendance.

Luckily for the Sox, the Tigers managed to pull a 5-1 win over Kansas City out of their hat and Cleveland pounded the Twins 9-2, so the American League Central standings remain unchanged at the top, with the Sox still 4 out and 1.5 above the Twins.  The Sox and Devil Rays hook up for the final time in 2003 tomorrow at U.S. Cellular Field.  Bartolo Colon (7-9, 4.25) faces Joe Kennedy (3-7, 5.82) as the Sox look to split the season series with the 'Rays and regain some momentum before an all-important trip to Kansas City.

WSI's Tinkerer Update: Not much today as Jerry fields the usual lineup, just with Daubach in for Konerko and Sandy starting behind the dish for Miguel. 

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Sandy Alomar, Jr.

  Three run jack in the 5th looked to propel Sox into driver's seat.  The rest of the offense, however, would have none of it as they took a collective day off.

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