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The White Sox once again had their fingers stomped off .500’s ledge, and starting pitching will probably be the thing that prevents them from ever getting a firm grasp.
Odrisamer Despaigne was handed a 4-0 lead before he took the mound, and he needed a favorable call at home plate to keep him from blowing the whole thing in the first. He got just two whiffs on 68 pitches over three-plus innings and left the bullpen at least five innings to cover, and Evan Marshall’s first two earned runs of the year ended up making the difference.
Rick Renteria tried to split the difference with his managerial style, trying to win the game without getting carried away with matchups, what with a bullpen day looming Tuesday. It worked well when Josh Osich pitched 2⅓ scoreless innings as the first man in, leaving with one out in the sixth and a 5-4 lead. Marshall foreshadowed a rough night when he walked the first batter he saw on four pitches. He then fell behind Ronald Guzman 3-0 before giving up a single through the middle. Jeff Mathis loaded the bases with a lofted single to right, bringing lefty Shin-Soo Choo to the plate.
If there were fewer than three innings remaining, perhaps Renteria would’ve had a lefty ready in the pen. Instead, he used Marshall, and Choo hit Texas’ third consecutive single to tie the game. Delino DeShields then followed with a fourth to give the Rangers the lead, although Leury García kept it a one-run game by gunning down Mathis at home plate on the fly.
The White Sox were nearly able to close the gap in the ninth when Anderson reached on an error with one out. He moved to second when Chris Martin’s pickoff throw (which had Anderson leaning) bounced wide of Guzman, then moved to third on Yolmer Sánchez’s groundout. Zack Collins had the chance to be a hero, but he grounded out to first to end the game.
The White Sox were held mostly in check by Lance Lynn and Co. after an explosive first. Anderson cleared the bases with a double off the wall in right that DeShields couldn’t flag down, and Sánchez doubled him home with a drive over the head of Willie Calhoun in left.
But after getting sensational defense to escape the second, Lynn settled in and retired the next 13 in a row before Anderson took him deep to center, allowing the White Sox to retake the lead, albeit briefly.
*Charlie Tilson recorded two outfield assists via sensational relay throws from Sánchez. He gunned down Asdrubal Cabrera at home to bring the first to a merciful end, which withstood a review, and then fired a perfect bullet to third to get Calhoun trying to stretch a double into a triple.
*Anderson committed a careless error in the seventh, letting a routine grounder on the right side of the infield scoot under his glove. Juan Minaya pitched around it. Anderson later made a great play throwing across his body after ranging across second base while shifted. Anderson had three of the Sox’ seven hits and four of their five RBIs, so he packed in all the exhilarating tension.