Friday, December 1 2023

The Chicago White Sox continue to come up with painful ways to lose.

Just when they thought they’ve seen it all, the Sox fell 7-6 to the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. The game-winning run scored when closer Gregory Santos was called for a balk with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning.

“He rushed it, it was down to one second (on the pitch clock) and he rushed it and it was a balk, clearly a balk,” manager Pedro Grifol said.

While the attention will be on the last sequence, the Sox had plenty of opportunities to put the game away. Instead, they let a 6-0 lead slip away for their fifth straight defeat and fall to a season-worst 33 games under .500 at 53-86.

“It was down to executing earlier in the game, it’s not just the last inning,” catcher Korey Lee said. “A lot of people just see the last inning but it was a team effort and we just came up short tonight.”

Home runs accounted for the Sox offense. Yoán Moncada hit a two-run home run and Lee added a three-run blast in the second inning. It was Lee’s first big-league home run.

Andrew Vaughn homered in the third, making it a 6-0 lead. The Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth and had runners on second and third with two outs in the sixth, but failed to score. That would come back to hurt them.

“Hitting’s tough,” Grifol said. “Sometimes you get a good pitch to hit and you do it and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes they make good pitches. It was a good ballgame all the way around until that last inning.”

The Royals hit three solo home runs against starter Dylan Cease as they slowly cut into the Sox advantage. The Sox had a one-run lead entering the ninth.

Nick Loftin reached on a throwing error by shortstop Tim Anderson to begin the inning. He was lifted for pinch runner Dairon Blanco, who scored the tying run on a double by Bobby Witt Jr.

Witt’s hit gave the Royals runners on second and third with one out. Salvador Perez lined out to Anderson and the Sox intentionally walked MJ Melendez to load the bases for Edward Olivares.

With the pitch clock winding down, Santos rushed his delivery to the plate and was called for a balk. Maikel Garcia scored, handing the Sox the type of loss one doesn’t see every day.

“I didn’t handle it well,” Santos said through an interpreter. “The batter was taking a long time to get in the batter’s box and I rushed it. I didn’t step off the rubber.”

Grifol said Santos should have stepped off in that situation.

“He had two disengagements,” Grifol said. “You’ve got two disengagements per hitter. It doesn’t matter where the runners are. He knows it. He just forgot. He looked at the clock and just forgot it.”

The Sox learned another lesson the hard way.

“In the future in that situation, if it rises again I have to step off and take time,” Santos said.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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