The Chicago White Sox lost 5-4 to the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday after blowing a two-run lead in the 14th inning. Pitching hadn't been an issue for Chicago all night, but closer Hector Santiago simply couldn't find his stuff as the A's battered their way to a comeback victory.
After trailing 2-0 after the sixth inning, an RBI double by Kosuke Fukudome closed the deficit to one run in the seventh inning. And then, in the ninth, Paul Konerko hit a game-tying solo home run, the 400th bomb of his impressive big league career.
The two teams traded scoreless frames then for four innings until the White Sox broke through in the top of the 14th against lefty Jerry Blevins. After an error by Eric Sogard allowed the inning's first hitter, Dayan Viciedo, to get on base and a walk two batters later by Alejandro De Aza, Alexei Ramirez hit a two-out, two-run double to give Chicago the lead.
With Hector Santiago coming in, the lead was hopefully safe. The closer struck out Sogard to open up the bottom of the 14th, but he quickly unraveled from there. He gave up a single to Josh Reddick and followed that up by serving Yoenis Cespedes the game-tying two-run homer, blowing the save. That wasn't it, though, as he'd proceed to give up three more singles in a row, allowing Oakland to score the winning run.
The numbers are looking dim for Chicago's inexperienced closer at this point. Through seven appearances this season, Santiago has a 8.53 ERA with 10 strikeouts and four walks, plus he's 4-of-6 on save opportunities.
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