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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

J-Rolling to Victory

April 5th, 2016 at Oakland Athletics

Toon Squad Update:
Total Team the Voltron Lion Force!

Short Take:   Clutch HRs from Frazier and Rollins key the Sox to 2nd Victory in Oakland

Throughout the entire 2015 season, the White Sox never made it more than one game above the .500 mark. In the first two games at the Coliseum in Oakland, the 2016 White Sox would eclipse that mark in dramatic fashion by hitting a pair of clutch HRs. One blast came early, and one blast came late as the Sox defeated the A's 5-4 in Game 2 of the newly minted 2016 campaign.

Oakland would draw first blood in the top of the 3rd. The inning began on a quite unexpected Josh Phegley RF base hit against the shift. Josh's fellow "Samardzija Trade Partner in Crime" Marcus Semien, would lace a hard single to put Jose in a jam. Quintana ran into a pacing issue and really slowed the game to a crawl as his control began to leave him for a spell. Jed Lowrie would continue to hit the Sox well this series with an RBI single to RF making Jose pay for his wildness putting the A's up 1-0. Quintana would limit the damage to 1 by getting Reddick to ground out to end the inning.

The Sox entered the top of the 5th inning trailing 1-0 with Quintana pitching well. The game was quickly starting to get a "here we go again" type feeling with no run support for our hard luck lefty. However, the Sox would briefly flip the script starting with an Eaton single, and then a big error by Jed Lowrie who came off the bag on what could have been a DP grounder from Jimmy Rollins. Abreu seemed to have trouble picking up the spin on Bassitt and ended up guessing his way into a strikeout. This year's White Sox team has a thumper hitting behind Abreu in the order though and that would pay dividends in a big way. The porous A's defense opened the door for some heroics from our big offseason acquisition Todd Frazier. On a low breaking 0-2 pitch, Frazier flexed some of that "easy power" and golfed a 3 run blast into the seats in LF. The HR was the first for the White Sox of 2016 and gave the team a 3-1 lead.

A's hitters would not go quietly though. Jed Lowrie would once again continue his mastery of Sox pitching with another RBI single cutting the Sox lead to 3-2. Quintana would recover to keep a lid on the damage and strand the remaining A's baserunners. The Sox would get that run right back in the Top of the 6th. Back to back singles from Brett Lawrie and Alex Avila put runers on the corners with 1 out. Austin Jackson would hit a sharp grounder in the hole for an RBI infield hit making the game 4-2. An inning ending double play by Jimmy Rollins would end the threat.

Matt Albers would take over for Quintana in the 6th and did solid work as he held the A's in check until a disasterous bottom of the 8th inning from Nate Jones. Zach Duke would open the frame against lefty Josh Reddick who nudged a slow rolling infield hit to put the leadoff man on. Robin would once again go to Nate Jones who wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in the opener. Jones was missing wide on his fastball and way down on his slider. Nate would manage to retire Butler but two hit batsmen loaded the bases with 1 out. Yonder Alonso would tie the game at 4-4 with a 2 RBI single on a flat slider from Nate Jones. He would recover to pitch out of the inning with the game still tied at 4 but the damage was done.

An untimely meltdown from Nate Jones merely set the stage for some late inning heroics from another White Sox newcomer. A's manager Bob Melvin went to his closer Sean Doolittle to "buy an inning" and get the game to the bottom of the 9th. After cruising through Austin Jackson and Adam Eaton, Doolittle would miss on a fastball to Jimmy Rollins who crushed it over the left center field wall. Rollins pumped his fist as he rounded the bases and returned to an emotionally charged White Sox dugout. I haven't seen a White Sox dugout that lively in quite some time and it was a great thing to see. David Robertson came out in the 9th and he would make the A's look silly for a quick 1-2-3 peaceful 9th inning. It's definitely early Sox fans, but this felt like a game that would certainly get away from us last year and it ends up in the victory column. This could be a fun team to watch. The Sox try to take the series Wednesday as Carlos Rodon toes the rubber against Oakland ace Sonny Gray.

Game Notes-

-Chris Bassitt, Marcus Semien, and Josh Phegley all played in this game for Oakland. They represented 3 of the 4 Sox players sent in the Jeff Samardzija trade of 2015.

-Tonight's Game was the 53rd no decision for Quintana since 2012

-Jose Quintana pitched 5 2/3 innings with 7Ks

-Adam Eaton went 3 for 5 with a run scored

That's all folks:
 VOLTRON- Frazier and Rollins are Defenders of the Chicago Baseball Universe.

submitted by Foulke You

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Jimmy Rollins

Clutch HR in the 9th Inning.

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