WASHINGTON -- The White Sox couldn’t come through with clutch hits in the first two games of the Washington series. They didn't do much better in the series finale.
Chicago was a combined 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position in losses on Tuesday and Wednesday. The White Sox went just 3-for-13 in the same category Thursday despite getting 13 hits overall, and that lack of timely hitting proved very costly and let Washington wrap up a series sweep with a 7-4 victory.
“We actually swung it pretty good,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We left a few guys on [base] early. This is a tough team. You have to take advantage of everything if you’re going to beat them.”
The White Sox didn’t take advantage of much at all. They knocked around Washington starter Dan Haren for three runs on 10 hits in five innings, but the right-hander kept squirming out of trouble and got the win.
Chicago left 11 runners on base overall, but eight of those came in the first five innings when Haren was pitching. The Sox kept getting the hits. In fact, five players finished with two hits in this game. They just didn’t come at the right time.
That was the difference in this game. Washington finished with 10 hits -- three fewer than the Sox -- but the Nationals went 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Plus, the Nats went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position in those first two games and finished the series 11-for-25. That’s a long way from Chicago’s 4-for-28, and it's also why Washington kept scoring runs at the right times.
“We didn’t play terribly; we just got beat out there,” Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko said. “I mean, they did just every little [thing]. All the parts of the game -- we weren’t bad at them. We were OK at them actually, but they were just a little bit better, and that’s why they won the games.”