These White Sox don't quit, but that doesn't preclude them from having the same type of gut-punch comeback pulled on them.
The Tigers didn't lead until the ninth, trailed 3-1 with Jose Quintana at his full powers facing them in the sixth, and didn't have a reason to hope until the Sox gave them one with one out in the ninth. And they were still without much of a chance again until they took it with two out and their backup catcher up.
A deep fly ball to the right field warning track glanced off the heel of Dayan Viciedo's glove and turned into a three-base error, and a two-out matchup with backup catcher Bryan Holaday turned into heartbreak when he rolled a perfect two-out squeeze up the third base line, pushing across the crucial tally in a tough 4-3 Tigers victory.
The late-inning loss was tinged significantly more bitter by the Sox being in control throughout, going 2-8 with runners in scoring position, and slamming their heads on the doorframe at multiple chances to blow the game open. Tyler Flowers even hit a flyout to the center field wall in the ninth just to twist the knife.
Worse yet, in many respects this was the best Jose Quintana has pitched this season. He breathed fire for prolonged periods, struck out five batters in the first two innings, hit 93 mph on occurrences, had enormous late movement on his cutter that bored in on right-handers and wound up with an insane 10/0 K/BB ratio on the night.
While those figures will make his peripherals shiny and will make his stats page popular, I'm sure his thoughts will linger on the fastballs he floated in the zone for four-straight ringing singles to Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter and Austin Jackson to cough up his 3-1 lead with two outs in the sixth.
The White Sox faced a cagey and resilient Justin Verlander rather than the monster that's terrorized them previously. He struck out just four and walked three over seven innings, but was only touched up for three runs in the third, by a sprayed, opposite-field RBI double away from the outfield shift by Adam Eaton, a seeing-eye RBI single through the right side from Gordon Beckham, and a two-out RBI double into the right field corner from Adam Dunn.
But that breakthrough was immediately followed by Alexei Ramirez leading off the fourth with a single, then running into a caught stealing in the driving rain. Alejandro De Aza looked like a hero for a bit for rapping a one-out triple off Verlander into the right field corner with one out in the seventh, but was stranded by back-to-back strikeouts from Marcus Semien and Eaton. Semien's whiff came after he puts himself in a hole botching his own suicide squeeze.
After being abused in a pair of strikeouts as Verlander fooled him with off-speed stuff, Jose Abreu greeted Joba Chamberlain's arrival in the eighth with a one-out double, but was stranded when Chamberlain pitched around Adam Dunn, and painted the outside corner with a 3-2 fastball to retire Viciedo, who was just figuring out that the strike zone doesn't include the left-hand batter's box. A light groundout from Ramirez to canceled the threat officially.
Viciedo's ninth inning error also marred two electric innings from Ronald Belisario, who is obviously becoming one of Robin Ventura's few trusted relievers. Both he and Petricka worked, and will not be among the likely many hands needed on deck for Hector Noesi's start tomorrow afternoon.
Team Record: 13-13
Next game is Wednesday vs. the Tigers at 1:10pm CT on WGN
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