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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

One Bad Inning By Bullpen Results In Another Loss

August 18 at Seattle Mariners

Back to the Grind,
or Just Grinded?

Today's Sox cut of meat:
Dog Food
They did just enough to lose this game.

Short Take:   A bullpen that had been holding its own for a few weeks, reverted back to the ways of old and coughs up the lead in the sixth.

Entering tonight's contest in Seattle, the Sox had their longest losing streak of the season at six, and looked to enjoy their first win since last Friday night, but it wasn't in the cards, as Seattle took another one out from under the team, 7-5.

Believe it or not, the first few innings were actually good for the Sox, and they wasted no time in tallying runs. In the top of the first, Jim Thome launched a two-out solo homerun for the 491st of his career, giving the visiting Sox an early 1-0 lead.

The top of the second brought about more scoring for the Sox. A.J. Pierzynski led off with a single to center, and Darin Erstad, starting in place of Paul Konerko, also singled to center, moving A.J. to second. Scott Podsednik sacrified the runners over with his comebacker to the pitcher, and Juan Uribe followed with a sacrifice fly to center, plating A.J. and giving the Sox a 2-0 lead against Jeff Weaver, who handcuffed the Sox's offense just last weekend.

In the top of the fourth, A.J. Pierzynski drove a pitch out of the ballpark and into the second deck in right field for a solo shot. The Sox led 3-0 at this point, and it looked as though they just may have solved the puzzle known as Jeff Weaver.

Up to this point, John Danks had looked good, but he succumbed to the pressure in the bottom of the fourth. He allowed a lead off single to Jose Vidro, who was sacrificed over to second on Jose Guillen's groundout to the pitcher. Sox killer, Raul Ibanez followed with a single to right field, bringing Vidro around from second to score and cutting the Sox's lead to 3-1. Andrian Beltre hit a single after Vidro scored, but Richie Sexson flied out to right and Kenji Johjima grounded out to Josh Fields to end the threat.

It seemed as though the shaky fourth for Danks got to him because the bottom of the fifth brought about more scoring for the Mariners. Danks allowed a lead off single to Jose Lopez, and Yuniesky Betancourt followed with another base hit. Danks retired Ichiro Suzuki on a sacrifice to first, but that put two runners in scoring position for Jose Guillen. He came through with a single, driving home Lopez & Betancourt in the process, and tying the game at 3.

In plain English, the bottom of the sixth was a nightmare. Adrian Beltre led off the inning with a single. Ozzie had seen enough, so he went to Ehren Wassermann, who had been pretty solid out of the 'pen up to this point... but not tonight. Wassermann allowed Richie Sexson to double to left field, advancing Beltre to third. Kenji Johjima followed with a single to center, plating both Beltre & Sexson. It was 5-3 and the Mariners weren't finished. Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt both grounded out to Fields at third, and it looked as though Wassermann would get out of the inning relatively unscathed. However, after an intentional walk to Suzuki, Jose Vidro singled and Johjima came around to score the sixth Seattle run. A Josh Fields error then allowed Jose Guillen to reach base, loading them up. A wild pitch brought Suzuski home from third with the seventh Mariner tally. Adrian Beltre, who led off the inning, was caught looking, but the damage had been done.

The Sox tried to make a game of it in the top of the eighth. Danny Richar walked and Thome launched his second homerun of the night (and 492nd of his career), bringing the Sox to within two, but it just wasn't enough.

After tonight's loss, the Sox now find themselves in sole possession of last place and look to salvage a game in this series tomorrow afternoon at Safeco Field. The southsiders will send Jon Garland (8-8) to the mound against Seattle's Felix Hernandez (8-6). The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05p CDT and the game will be televised on CSN.

Back to the Grind Update:
 Grinder Ball made a very brief showing in the second inning, but that's it.

submitted by ChiSoxGirl.

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Jim Thome

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