Whew! Sox emerge with win after blowing 7-2 lead
For the White Sox, the ninth inning of Friday night's game against the Mariners started as a yawner.
It quickly moved to absolute horror, followed by sheer excitement.
In the end, the Sox walked off U.S. Cellular Field with a 9-8 win over Seattle and, ultimately, that's all that really matters.
"It was a good team win," Paul Konerko said after the Sox squandered a 7-2 lead in the top of the ninth before rallying back in the bottom of the inning. "We burned a little more energy than we probably need to or wanted to, but a win's a win and we'll take it."
Leading by 5 runs after the eighth inning, the White Sox appeared to give it all away.
The Mariners, who came in with eighth straight wins, barely roused the crowd of 25,058 when Jesus Montero led off the ninth with a home run against Philip Humber.
Eric Thames followed with a flyout, but manager Robin Ventura quickly yanked Humber after he walked Justin Smoak.
"When it gets close, you're going to bring in your guy," Ventura said. "It just didn't happen tonight."
Donnie Veal actually relieved Humber, but he was gone after serving up a double to Trayvon Robinson.
That stirred the crowd a bit, but closer Addison Reed is Ventura's guy and he's been on a roll of late. He figured to extinguish the smoldering fire.
Instead, it was painfully clear Reed was not on top of his game.
He issued a walk, a 2-run single, another walk, a sacrifice fly, and another single that scored 2 runs, 1 of them unearned.
Just like that, the Mariners were in front 8-7.
"Everything was out of sync," Reed said. "I was leaving the ball up. I can feel my arm dragging behind and everything was up and away. I know what I was doing wrong, but it's just one of those things that I couldn't correct out there."
Knowing the second-place Tigers already lost to the Angels, the White Sox could have just shrugged off a terrible loss and chalked it up to: 'That's baseball.'
Instead, they came right back against Seattle closer Tom Wihelmsen.
Gordon Beckham led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single, Dewayne Wise walked and Kevin Youkilis tied the game at 8-8 with an RBI single.
After Adam Dunn, who hit 2 homers earlier in the game, flied out to deep left field while Wise failed to tag up at second base and advance to third, Konerko came through with a game-winning double to right center field.
Thames appeared to catch the drive, but the ball popped loose when the right fielder collided with center fielder Michael Saunders.
"We don't usually have problems holding a lead like that," Konerko said. "But they were swinging the bats pretty well and that just shows you how well Peavs (starter Jake Peavy) pitched. It all just happened so fast.
"I think Gordon had a great at-bat to lead off that inning because you know if you get that first out of the ninth, it makes your chances of closing that game a lot better. With Gordon getting on right there, you kind of feel like, 'All right, we can tie this game up at least right there.'"
Or, you can go ahead and win it.
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