Then just like that they came back in the 10th inning with line drives and clutch hits for a 5-2 victory.
They went from 17 hits in Saturday’s game to nine strikeouts in five innings against Erick Bedard and his 5.23 ERA. They scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning but only because third base coach Jeff Cox took a calculated gamble.
Cox waived home Paul Konerko from second on a single to left by Ramon Castro. A decent throw gets Konerko with ease, but Mariners left fielder Milton Bradley had looked disinterested all series and Cox took advantage. Not only that, but when the throw home got away, Alex Rios scored on the play, too.
As little as their two runs were, the White Sox had enough to buy some time and get into extra innings against a Mariners team that has been scuffling along just like they have.
In the 10th inning, the White Sox went back to being that team trying to fight their way from the cocoon.
“They’re fighting,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I think, obviously when you score some runs and get some hits, you feel like you are having fun. But I don’t think they give up at-bats or they go up there just because. I think they are fighting every at-bat. For two weeks we have been fighting with good at-bats. It’s more fun when things get done, when things happen, when you make things happen. I think we went through it.”
Alexei Ramirez, the guy in the midst of the worst struggles on the team, actually got it going in extra innings with an RBI double for a 3-2 lead. Adam Dunn added his own RBI double and Alex Rios had a run-scoring single.
But without Cox’s bold play to send Konerko perhaps nobody gets a chance to see the White Sox bust loose in the ninth inning. Konerko was as surprised as anybody to see Cox starting to windmill his arm.
“My thought was that it was misplayed out there,” Konerko said. “Usually on that ball I'm running hard usually but I'm going to be held up. My thought was as I got on third he bobbled it, but he was just being aggressive and sometimes you make guys put throws together. At this point, we have nothing to lose.”
Perhaps more than anything then, the White Sox are actually starting to loosen their tight grip. Cox took his chance, Konerko wore pink shoes and got five hits and Ramirez, Dunn and Rios all came through with clutch hits in the 10th inning.