By Adam Harris
US Cellular Field (CBS) – After blowing the 9th inning lead, the White Sox had a decision to make. Either fold and take the loss, or battle back and gain an extra game lead on Detroit.
They chose the latter.
“We have a lot of great hitters, and the thing about our lineup, we can hit the long ball,” Kevin Youkilis said after lacing the game tying single to center in the 9th. “As long as we get the 3-4-5 up, we know there’s going to be a chance. DeWayne [Wise] didn’t bunt the balls, and that’s especially hard to do, when a guy is throwing 96/97 miles per hour.”
Wise came up after Gordon Beckham beat out an infield single, and squared to bunt twice, but took both close pitches, eventually coaxing a walk.
After a long Dunn fly out, it was Paul Konerko’s RBI double to deep right center that ended the game.
“Everybody takes it upon themselves to have a good at bat, then thinks can happen,” Paul Konerko said. “Guys are doing that every turn through the lineup, so it’s not much to ask when you get in those situations to keep doing it. It’s not like we have a bunch of guys in our lineup that are trying to hit home runs every at bat. Everybody in the lineup is grinding out every at bat it’s a good habit to build.”
In the 9th, Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen threw 17 pitches and only recorded one out. Each hitter was battling, waiting for their pitch. Youkilis took three tough breaking balls, one for a strike, in his 9th inning at bat to eventually get the fastball he needed.
“They were good pitcher’s pitches,” Youkilis said “If I were to swing at them, that is usually a ground ball double play. I was lucky to [eventually] get that fastball.”
There were two downers for the Sox tonight. The first is Addison Reed’s blown save where he went two-thirds of an inning and gave up three runs and walked two.
The second was another tough luck no decision for Jake Peavy who remains 9-9. Peavy still tried his best to rally his troops after watching his team blow it in the 9th from the clubhouse.
“I was in here with a couple of guys who had come out of the game. It wasn’t a good atmosphere,” Peavy said. “But I was sitting right here with Adam Dunn and I said ‘go down into that dugout and make sure the boys are ready to go in the 9th.’ Dunn said, ‘I got you, I got you.'”
This win seems to define this team to the Sox starter.
“That’s what this team has been about all year,” Peavy continued. “You see the resiliency, you see the never say die. Although we didn’t play our best in the 9th, you see the team that never quit and fought for 27 outs and found a way to make it happen.”
The Detroit Tigers lost 2-1 to the Angels, and now the Sox enter Saturday’s game ahead in the AL Central by 2.5 games.