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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Devil Rays blink first

April 23, vs. Tampa Bay

Today's Free Agency Value:
"1-4 today with a run, but he wouldn't have scored had the Devil Rays not handed the Sox the win in the 10th."

Short Take: Devil Rays self-destruct in 10th to hand Sox the win.

If only tonight had been the 25th, we’d be able to write all sorts of strange coincidences about it being Christmas in April for the White Sox after their 10-inning, 3-2 win over Tampa Bay at U.S. Cellular Field. But truly, the Devil Rays were probably more responsible for the Sox picking up tonight’s win than the Sox themselves. But hey, when you’ve already blown a 4-run 9th inning, and allowed a 7-run inning on all bloopers, you take ‘em when you can get ‘em.

The three-hour affair started as a pitchers duel between Tampa Bay’s Victor Zambrano and the Sox’s Esteban Loaiza. Both were phenomenal, with Zambrano going 6 2/3 innings, allowing only 5 hits and 2 earned runs. Loaiza went 7 strong, scattering 8 hits, and also allowing 2 earned runs. The arms race even extended into both bullpens. Tampa Bay’s Chad Gaudin when 2 1/3 hitless innings and Danys Baez didn’t pitch horribly, but was on his heels from the start of the night. Likewise, the Sox trotted out Shingo Takatsu, Neal Cotts, and Billy Koch and all three were spectacular, combining for 2 strike outs and allowed only one hit.

Tampa drew first blood in the 4th when Carl Crawford singled to lead off and ran the remaining 270 feet on Julio Lugo’s double off the centerfield wall. Lugo was plated two batters later when Robert Fick dropped a ducksnort in front of Carlos Lee.

As for the Sox, the only really legitimate run they scored all night was Frank Thomas’s solo homer to lead off the fourth. In the 6th, after Aaron Rowand doubled to lead off the inning, Miguel Olivo failed to get a bunt down. With Aaron leading far off second, Toby Hall took a shot at picking him off, but Rowand broke for third and might have been out had Julio Lugo thrown the ball to third base and not the third row of the lower deck. The Sox had a chance to get more, after Willie Harris singled and Juan Uribe sliced a shot into the left field corner that Carl Crawford made a spectacular diving grab to keep the score tied. In all, the Sox stranded 11 runners tonight.

However the Devil Rays just out-did the Sox in trying to hand this one away. On the basepaths, Miguel Olivo caught Rey Sancez stealing to finish the 2nd half of a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play and then later picked Toby Hall of first base. But the Devil Rays really self-destructed in the 10th inning. It started when Lugo bobbled a routine grounder up the middle to start the inning off the bat of Magglio Ordonez. He moved to second on a balk by Baez, who then intentionally walked Carlos Lee to get to GIDPaul Konerko. However, Hall could not handle a Baez fastball in the dirt, allowing Ordonez and Lee to advance to 2nd and 3rd, allowing Konerko an intentional pass. After falling behind 2-0 to Joe Crede, Baez battled, but ultimately lost as Joe pushed a 2-2 offering deep enough in right field to get Maggs home and a Sox win.

This game was salvaged by Loaiza, who picked up where he left off from Tampa Bay a week ago. The Sox simply weren’t hitting (Crede alone left 8 men on base), but stuck around and found a way. What can you say? Sometimes it’s nice to win games you really didn’t deserve, right? The Sox and Devil Rays will do it again tomorrow at U.S. Cellular Field. Game time is 1:05 PM CDT. Dan Wright will oppose someone named Doug Waechter, who is making his first start of the year after a stint on the 15-day DL. Come on, Dan, how more could the cards be stacked in your favor?

Ozzieball Update:
Miguel Olivo's missed bunt attempt in the 6th could have been disastrous had Julio Lugo not thrown the ball a good 20 feet off the mark. Also a great at bat by Joe Crede to end the game, forcing Baez to throw were he wanted it and then delivering the winning hit.

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Joe Crede

Went from goat to hero with one swing of the bat. 0-4, 8-men left on base performance erased with game winning sac fly in 10th.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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