Well, at least Chicago White Sox fans got to see some fireworks Friday night.
Unfortunately, those didn't come until the scheduled postgame pyrotechnics after a 10-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles -- and they certainly had nothing to do with the team's on-field performance.
This wasn't how the struggling Sox wanted to start this six-game home stand. Joey Cora, who managed the Sox in place of the suspended Ozzie Guillen, didn't have much to say about his team's performance.
“We didn't deserve to win,” Cora said. “It's that simple. They played better than us. They did everything better than us. The first three innings were good, but after that we didn't deserve to win.”
The game was tied heading into the sixth inning, when starter John Danks (0-4, 3.92 ERA), struck out Mark Reynolds with two outs. But the pitch got away from A.J. Pierzynski and Reynolds took first base. Matt Wieters then stepped to the plate and proceeded to place the ball 388 feet into the left-field bleachers. The round-tripper brought with it a wave of boos from U.S. Cellular Field stands.
“If I get the opportunity tomorrow, I'm going to do the same thing,” Danks said of his pitch to Reynolds. “A.J.'s going to knock it down. I think that's the first time he's ever not knocked the ball down for me.”
Danks' departure made way for Jesse Crain to enter the game for the Sox's dreadful seventh inning. Crain nearly pitched himself out of a jam, but a botched grounder by Alexei Ramirez with two outs paved the way for a five-run inning for the O's.
And the boos continued.
“It's frustrating,” Danks said. “There's no other word for it. This is frustrating. We're all putting the work in. There's really no reason why it's not going our way. We're way too talented. We're working hard. It's frustrating.”
General manager Kenny Williams reminded reporters before the game that it was still early in the season and fans shouldn't panic quite yet. But don't tell that to Danks, who has yet to pick up his first victory of the season despite pitching relatively well.
“If we go like this too much longer, it isn't early. That's just a fact. There's still plenty of time to bounce back and get back in it … but we need to turn it around quick.”
Cora, who will manage the team again Saturday while Guillen finishes a two-game suspension for some post-ejection tweets he made on Thursday, made no excuses after the game.
“Whatever our record is,” Cora said, “we have earned it.”