CHICAGO –- Now the White Sox are just making a mess of things.
Playing in uniforms with green trim to celebrate a "Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day" promotion, there was ultimately nothing to envy. The White Sox lost their fourth consecutive game and the eighth in their last 10. They are also 1-6 in their last seven games against the Tigers.
But hey, with a Twins' defeat to the Oakland A’s it was a rare night that the White Sox didn’t lose any ground after their 9-2 defeat. So that’s something.
In the sixth inning the Edwin Jackson no-hitter watch started. By the seventh inning after Jackson started having leg cramps and Scott Linebrink struggled to get anybody out, the Detroit Tigers had sprung back to life.
At least Jackson had the cramps in his calf as an excuse. Linebrink allowed two inherited runners to score and then allowed two more of his own to come home in just a third of an inning. So much for his solid string of seven appearances during which he gave up only one run.
Playing with a watered-down lineup a day after a key series against the Twins finished in a Minnesota sweep, things ended predictably. The White Sox had just three hits -– two on home runs from Manny Ramirez and surprise youngster Brent Morel –- and watched things crumble in the late innings.
Heading into the seventh inning, manager Ozzie Guillen and trainer Herm Schneider visited Jackson on the mound. The right-hander was pulling on the front of his right foot trying to work out the tightness in his calf.
Jackson clearly wasn’t the same as he was in the previous six innings. He took a no-hitter into the sixth before Austin Jackson broke it up with a two-out infield single. To start the seventh, the Tigers went lineout, single, single, walk, wild pitch for a run, walk and RBI single before Linebrink was brought in.
“Three things good happened in this game,” Guillen said. “I think Morel, the way he played third base and swing the bat, great. I like to see that. Manny for his home run. He need that for himself. Jackson throw the ball very good, except for that inning. He has thrown the ball very good for us and had one bad inning.”
Ramirez wasn’t going to make a big deal about his first extra-base hit and RBI in a White Sox uniform. Maybe it helped that the dominating hue had changed. So was it a relief to hit a home run after 84 consecutive at-bats without one?
“Not really man, I’m just trying to get the feel back and put a good swing on the ball,” he said.
At least he was able to smile over the silent treatment he received from teammates once he rounded the bases and returned to the dugout.
“It was funny, yeah,” he said. “This is an awesome group man. It was like when I was in L.A., Boston. We joke around but when it’s time to play we go out there and play.”
By the numbers
4: Strikeouts for Mark Teahen in four at-bats Friday. It matched a career high. The last time it happened was against the White Sox as a Royal when he went down four times on April 7, 2006.
“It’s been good so far. I’ve come in and had some success. It’s all about comfort. I’ve been comfortable. Pretty much most starts except for a couple I’ve given my team a chance to win.” –- Jackson, who is 3-2 with a 4.60 ERA for the White Sox, on his time with his new team.
Harrell will be opposed by Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (16-8, 3.48).