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Holding on to a one-run lead for the Chicago White Sox bullpen is a tough ask these days. One can only be sure of a bumpy ride that will end in an unpleasant outcome. Like tonight for example, after Bruce Rondon and Nate Jones flirted with danger, it was Joakim Soria that meltdown in the ninth inning. Matt Carpenter tied the game with a solo home run, Marcell Ozuna doubled with one out, and Yadier Molina walked-it-off with a single to left field as the St. Louis Cardinals won 3-2.
What makes tonight unsatisfying is how well James Shields pitched. At the late stages of his career, there are not too many performances left like this one for the veteran. After allowing a lead-off home run to Tommy Phan, Shields shut down the Cardinals lineup by retiring 15 straight hitters. In the sixth inning, Kolten Wong’s slow chopper allowed him to reach with an infield single, but he was cut down on at second by a dart from catcher Welington Castillo on a strike ’em out, throw ’em out. Over six innings of work, Shields only allowed the two hits, one earned run, walking none and striking out four.
Yoan Moncada provided the runs in the fourth inning. With one out, Cardinals starter Michael Wacha walked Trayce Thompson and Adam Engel. Both would get themselves 90 feet closer to scoring with stolen bases as Thompson took third base with Shields striking out, and Engel would steal second in Moncada’s at-bat. On a 2-1 pitch, Moncada laced a liner to left that was dropping quickly. Left fielder Marcell Ozuna misplayed the hop as he couldn’t get in position to make the catch allowing two runs to score and Moncada picking up his eighth double.
After the fourth inning, the White Sox offense couldn’t generate any more threats. Moncada finished the night 2-for-5 but had a third hit taken away from him in the third inning as he was initially called safe on an infield single. Naturally, the MLB replay office in New York had a camera angle that they can only see that Moncada’s foot was millimeters off first base as the ball reached the pocket of Matt Carpenter’s glove. Also worth noting that Moncada didn’t strike out tonight.
Also not striking out tonight was Matt Davidson. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk, putting him at 16 for the season and just three short of matching last season’s total.
The White Sox are now 3-17 against teams not the Kansas City Royals.
Record: 8-19 | Box Score