When the nation was watching through their fingers as the U.S. men's national team faltered out of the World Cup, and judging from the attendance, at work, the White Sox cruised through a charmed opening to the first half of their traditional doubleheader with the Angels.
Jose Abreu maximized the reward of a shaky first inning from Garrett Richards by bombing a three-run opposite-field bullet inside the right field foul pole, Hector Noesi didn't allow a hit through the first four innings despite being absolutely terrible, and the Sox were nursing a healthy lead on a future playoff team.
Then the World Cup game ended.
And seconds later, seemingly, Mike Trout's game-knotting three-run bomb landed in the left field bullpen. And seconds later, actually, Albert Pujols' go-ahead solo blast landed in the seats to follow it, starting off a pretty stead bleedy that ended in a 8-4, win-streak snapping loss.
Following up one of the best and most measured performance of his career, Noesi walked seven batters in five innings, and only lasted that long thanks to the many frozen ropes that sought out leather in the early innings. After giving up back-to-back jacks in the fifth, Noesi issued one more free pass--which would come around to score on one of Chris Iannetta's two RBI singles--to lead off the sixth, before giving way to two innings of Ronald Belisario, which were marred by a Josh Hamilton solo home run.
The Sox were fortunate to get what they could off Richards, apparently, since he logged seven more innings full of high-90's fury, and only allowed two more baserunners. The only other hit he allowed on the day was a booming two-out double from Adam Eaton--possibly the hardest he's hit a ball since April--that bounced over the fence and kept Alejandro De Aza from scoring from first. Gordon Beckham ended that threat with a pop-out.
The Angels racked up two more insurance runs off a surprisingly not-wild Daniel Webb relief, which prevented the Sox from making things too interesting when they loaded the bases with no one out in the ninth. The White Sox did plenty to tamp down excitement on their own, getting only one run from an Alexei Ramirez RBI groundout.
Oh well, at least there's Scott Carroll vs. Jered Weaver to look forward to.
Team Record: 39-45
Next Game: Any Minute Now vs. Fake Los Angeles on CSN+
Follow The Catbird Seat on Twitter @TheCatbird_Seat