Bullpen Costs Sox Another, Lose To A's 7-4

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White Sox Late Inning Job Up For Grabs After Loss

The last game of the series against the A’s went much like the first — extra innings after a late collapse, and eventually a loss. The Sox went into the ninth inning with a healthy 4-1 lead, but still managed to drop the game 7-4 in large part thanks to their hapless bullpen.

The lead was built by clutch hitting on the part of the Sox by Gordon Beckham and Alex Rios, and clutch base running by Carlos Quentin. John Danks pitched well for most of this game — holding the A’s to just one run over eight innings. But, then the ninth inning happened.

Guillen chose to start the ninth with Chris Sale, rather than Matt Thornton, even though Sale had also thrown on Tuesday night. Sale then allowed a double and two singles, one for an RBI, without earning an out. He was pulled for Jesse Crain, who walked Daric Barton, before getting a K on Kurt Suzuki.

With one out and the bases loaded, Matt Thornton came into the game. He got the second out of the inning on a strikeout of Ryan Sweeney. But a perfectly placed Cliff Pennington single scored two runners and tied the game. The Sox bats were impotent in the bottom of the inning, sending the game to extras. When Thornton came back on for the top of the tenth, he gave up two walks and two run scoring singles to put the game away and send Oakland home with a series victory. At this point, it’s unclear who Ozzie will turn to for late inning duties, since no member of the bullpen currently seems able to close out a game.

The White Sox are off on Thursday, but will host the Angels in a three game set starting Friday. First pitch in that game is at 7:10 P.M. CDT.

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Danks And Sox Look To Finish Series On High Note

Wednesday afternoon will see another battle of aces as John Danks searches for his first win of the season, and Oakland counters with young hurler Brett Anderson. The Sox hope to not only get a victory and series win, but to do so without having to go to extra innings for a third game in a row.

Danks has pitched relatively well in his two starts this season, giving up two and four earned runs, but is still winless after the Sox couldn't hold on. He's currently 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Against Oakland over his career, Danks is 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. The lefty handles most of the A's well -- Kurt Suzuki and Hideki Matsui both have .OPS numbers below .450 against Danks -- but he'll have a few threats to contend with in their lineup. Kevin Kouzmanoff is 2-for-3 against Danks with a home run, David DeJesus is batting .400 against him with two doubles, and Daric Barton is 5-for-11, also with two doubles.

Going for the Athletics will be Brett Anderson. Anderson, who finished last year with a 2.80 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, is currently 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Against the White Sox, however, he's 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski both hit him well. Beckham is 3-for-8 with a double, and A.J. is 3-for-6.

The weather on the South Side today is expected to be sunny, with a high in the low 60's. First pitch is at 1:10 P.M. CDT, and the game will be televised on CSN and CSNCA.

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