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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Klutch Konerko

September 1 at Cleveland

Chris Sale
Mark Teahen

Sale pitched over a couple walks and a defensive miscue by Teahen to earn the save. Way to get tough, kid. Teahen? Make a play, dude. Seriously.

Short Take: The captain clubs a three-run homer in the eighth inning to turn what looked like a sure loss into a White Sox winner!

For the first seven innings of Wednesday's getaway day game in Cleveland, everything was going wrong for the White Sox. Starting pitcher Freddy Garcia left after four innings with a stiff lower back. The defense committed three errors, and the offense was getting shut down by Cleveland rookie Carlos Carrasco. The Sox found themselves trailing 4-1.

That all changed in the top of the eighth inning. The Sox finally knocked Carrasco out of there and staged a four-run rally, capped by Paul Konerko's clutch, two-out, three-run blast that put the South Siders ahead to stay at 5-4. The Sox added one more run in the top of the ninth and went on to complete the sweep with a 6-4 victory.

Carrasco, making his first big-league start of the season, allowed just five hits over the first seven innings, but Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez got the line moving in the top of the eighth with a solo blast to left that made the score 4-2. Carrasco appeared rattled and walked Juan Pierre on four pitches, causing the Indians to go to their bullpen. After Carlos Quentin popped up for the second out, Cleveland reliever Justin Germano (0-1) walked Alex Rios to put two men on with two out.

That set the stage for Konerko. Manny Ramirez, who made his first White Sox start as the designated hitter, was on deck as Paulie stepped to the plate. Even with a base open, the Indians were going to pitch to Konerko, who was 0 for 3 to that point in the game. They wanted no part of Ramirez with the game on the line. The Sox captain got a pitch to his liking and smacked his 33rd home run of the season to change the outcome around.

Twelve of Konerko's 33 home runs have come in the eighth or ninth innings this season. Twenty have come in the sixth inning or later. That's clutch.

The Sox tacked on a key insurance run in the top of the ninth when Alexei Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly that scored Mark Teahen to make it 6-4.

That run was helpful, as rookie lefty Chris Sale struggled in the bottom of the ninth before nailing down the first save of his young career. After striking out his first batter, Sale issued back-to-back walks to put runners on first and second.

With the possible tying run on, it appeared Sale had induced a game-ending double play grounder off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera. But after stepping on third base for the second out, Teahen's throw to first was errant. A good toss would have retired Cabrera to end the game. Instead, the inning continued and Sale had to face Cleveland's best hitter, Shin-Soo Choo, with two on and two outs. The rookie got tough and struck Choo out to secure the victory.

Garcia worked four innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits. Tony Pena (4-2) came on in emergency relief to earn the win. He pitched three innings, also allowing two runs (one earned). Sergio Santos worked a scoreless eighth to set up Sale.

Manny Ramirez went 1 for 3 in his Sox debut. He grounded out in the second, struck out looking in the fourth, singled in the sixth and was hit by a pitch moments after Konerko's homer in the eighth. At that point he was lifted for a pinch-runner. Rios also contributed to the Sox offense with his 20th home run of the season in the first inning.

The Sox will take Thursday off before resuming this 10-game road trip in Boston on Friday night. Left-hander John Danks (12-9, 3.65 ERA) will try to extend the South Siders' modest three-game winning streak. He'll be opposed by the American League leader in ERA, right-hander Clay Buchholz (15-5, 2.21 ERA). As long as Boston does not get hit by Hurricane Earl, the game will begin at 6:10. You can watch on WCIU.

TBGR Diary:
The Sox found a way in all three of these games in Cleveland. They weren't the cleanest victories, but they were critical wins nonetheless.

submitted by JB98.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Paul Konerko

Won the damn game.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

September 22... At Least They Won't Clinch Here

September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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