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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sox Outlast Royals in Marathon Game

July 13 @ Kansas City Royals

Today's Sox Crew:
Overtime Laborers
The crew put on their hard hats for a normal day's work, but due to unforeseen circumstances, were forced to stay until the new guy on the site, Kevin Youkilis, was able to figure out what was needed to be done to end the day.

Short Take: The Sox go back and forth with the Royals for 14 long innings and burn through a good majority of their bullpen, but happily, they made it worth the wait, as they squeak past the Royals thanks to Youkilis and Axelrod.

The Sox didn't have to travel far for their first series after the All-Star festivities in Kansas City. Actually, for those that made the AL team, they didn't have to travel at all. The Sox opened this 10-game roadtrip in beautiful Kauffman Stadium to open a weekend series against the Royals, and if you weren't prepared, you might have ended up sleeping through this one. It was a see-saw affair, with both teams taking multi-run leads and blowing them, and a very exciting game all-around to watch. So why would you fall asleep during the game if it was that exciting? Because it took 14 innings for the Sox to finally pull out the 9-8 victory.

Jose Quintana was the starter for the Sox, going against the Royals' Bruce Chen. Historically, Chen makes quick work of the Sox bats, but this is a different Sox team with a different approach. The Sox put up 3 runs in the top of the first off of an Adam Dunn 2-run shot and a Rios solo jack, finally making Chen look like the journeyman pitcher he is. However, Quintana wasn't sharp today, as he gave up three runs in the second to tie the game up, and two more in the fourth the give the Royals a 5-3 lead. He would only go 5 innings, allowing 5 ER on 8 hits, allowing 3 walks and striking out 4, so a very underwhelming start from Mr. Quintana there.

However, Dayan Viciedo would give Quintana the chance to win this one. In the top of the 5th, with two on and two out, he went down to swing at a ball that was about 6 inches off the ground and somehow muscled it out of the park to give the Sox a 6-5 lead, chasing Chen out of the game. This Tank guy, he's pretty strong, can we agree? The lead would hold until the 8th, when Nate Jones ended up giving up the lead after getting the first two outs of the inning off of a double, a walk, and a two-run triple. 7-6 Royals. Frustration, thy name is Jones. The Royals would call in their closer Jonathan Broxton to close the door on this one, and that's where the plan went awry. Kevin Youkilis led off the inning with a base hit, then Dunn and Paul Konerko followed up with walks, to load the bases with nobody out. Alex Rios ended up hitting a sac fly to center, the only problem was that Youkilis wasn't sent from third for some inexplicable reason. A.J. Pierzynski came up and lined a base hit to right to tie the game. Pinch-runner Orlando Hudson attempted to score, but Jeff Francoeur gunned him down at the plate in a very close play, where some replays showed Hudson may have touched the plate before the tag. If there's one thing Francoeur has though, it's a cannon for an arm.

Leyson Septimo came on for the Sox to try to force extras, and it didn't look good at all at first. Sox-killer Billy Butler ended up at second after Septimo threw a comebacker away. Runner at second, no outs. Septimo would induce a flyout from Yuniesky Betancourt. What happened next is a testament to both the Sox' fighting spirit and the Royals' terrible baserunning. Septimo faked to the plate, whipped around and threw a strike to Alexei Ramirez at second, picking off pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson, who started running on the fake to the plate. Wow. What a play by the rook. Moustakas would strike out to end the inning and force extras. Mercy.

Nothing interesting really happened until the 12th (aside from Jhan Marinez's Sox debut and high-wire act to get out of danger in the 11th). Viciedo drew a one-out walk and was pinch-ran for by Jordan Danks. Danks advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Gordon Beckham would drive him in with a double to take the lead at 8-7! That would bring in Addison Reed to close this game out, and just like Broxton, that's where the plan went awry. Reed gave up a leadoff double to Francoeur, and after a lineout, Lorenzo Cain smacked a base hit to center, putting runners at the corners. Alex Gordon chopped a grounder to second that brought in Francoeur and put Cain at second. Thankfully (maybe not for those who wanted to see the game end and get some sleep), Reed got the last out to go on to the 13th. Not a good night for closers tonight.

The bad luck kept on coming for the Sox in the 13th. Hudson got a leadoff single, and after Konerko and Rios both struck out, A.J. pounded a ball to deep right field that would have easily scored Hudson had it not hopped over the fence. Alas, it did, forcing Hudson to stay at third. Danks then flew out, making the Sox pray for another 7th inning stretch. Dylan Axelrod came on to pitch in the bottom half, and allowed a walk and a stolen base to Dyson, but that was it. To the 14th we go!!

After Alexei grounded out, Beckham drew a walk, followed by an Alejandro De Aza base hit to put Beckham at third. Who else should come up to the plate but Sox folk hero Kevin Youkilis? He pulled out some vintage Youk for this at-bat, as he kept fouling and fouling and fouling pitches off, wearing down Royals reliever Everett Teaford. Finally, on the 14th pitch of the AB, Youk muscled a fly ball to deep center for a sac fly, bringing home Beckham. 9-8 Sox! Mercifully, in the bottom half, Axelrod got the Royals out in order to give this long, tiring ordeal to the Sox! Sox win!! They kept pace with the Tigers and Indians, who both won tonight as well. fingers are tired. Anyway, since it's past midnight, the Sox will play later tonight in the second of this three game series. All-Star Jake Peavy will take the mound for the Sox, going against K.C.'s Luke Hochevar, former Sox farmhand. Let's keep this train a-rollin', boys!

KW Appreciates The Game:
"I appreciate the fight, the heart, the never-say-die attitude...but I appreciate sleep as well! I got a trading deadline to worry about."

submitted by MtGrnwdSoxFan.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

A.J. Pierzynski

4-for-7 with a BIG RBI to force extras.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!


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