Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Pierre single in 14th lifts White Sox to win

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This one was worth the wait.

Juan Pierre singled home Gordon Beckham from third base in the bottom of the 14th inning early Wednesday, giving the White Sox an 8-7 victory against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.

Beckham doubled to right-center field with one out against Chad Durbin (2-2) and went to third on Brent Morel's infield single moved Beckham to third.

Cleveland's David Huff, the Indians' ninth pitcher of the game, came in to face Pierre, who lined a single into left field.

Pierre had three hits in the game, one of 22 for the Sox, including a home run in the fourth inning.

"That's what I was waiting for, those questions [about the homer],'' said Pierre, who has 16 in his career. "That's the celebration right there. I can't explain it. I just put a good swing on it and that one I wasn't sure. I saw [right fielder Shin-Soo] Choo go back and I was like 'Blow wind,' or something because it was pretty high.

"Now I can really enjoy it because you can't enjoy it after a loss. There aren't too many of them that come off my bat.''

The win put the White Sox above the .500 mark for the first time since April 15. They stayed within 3 1/2 games of first-place Detroit while dropping the Indians to three games back.

Jason Frasor (3-2) pitched a perfect 14th to earn the win. Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain each pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Sox.

"The bullpen covered a lot of innings,'' said Frasor, who struck out two in a 1-2-3 inning. "It was a great time for my first 1-2-3 inning as a White Sox. The Indians can hit. The bullpen did a great job.''

The game lasted five hours, 21 minutes, and ended at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"I drank an extra Red Bull,'' Frasor said. "I had an idea how it was going to play out.''

It was the Sox' ninth win in their last 11 games, and their 50-38 record since May 7 is the fourth-best mark in the AL. But general manager Ken Williams still isn't sold. He's like every other Sox fan who feels good about his team one day but not so good the next. He wants to feel great every day but can't bring himself around to it.

"Listen, I wish I did,'' Williams said before the game. "But I'm not going to tell you something that I don't believe. I don't have a good feel after 120 games. And it's just been inconsistent play. I'm still very optimistic. Again, if we start to click, even just a little bit, we can put together a heck of a run. But the fact of the matter is we haven't, so I can't assume it's going to happen.''

This was an up-and-down roller coaster of emotions for those among the 24,695 who stayed to the finish. The Sox had five triples, the most they've hit in a game since getting six in one in 1920.

"But how many of them scored?" asked manager Ozzie Guillen.

The answer was one. And, after Sergio Santos couldn't hold a one-run lead in the ninth, the Sox left runners in scoring position in their half of the ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th innings.

The Sox 11th was the worst of them. Alex Rios led off with a triple against Chris Perez and did not score after Alexei Ramirez grounded out to third, and Brent Lillibridge (intentionally walked) was doubled off first on Tyler Flowers' liner to third.

Rios' triple was the Sox fifth. Alejandro De Aza hit two RBI triples, Paul Konerko extended his hitting streak to 12 games with four hits including a double, Brent Morel had a career-high four hits, Ramirez tripled in a run, and Flowers had a double and triple as the Sox cranked out 22 hits.

Santos, suffering his first blown save since July 4 against Kansas City, allowed a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera in the ninth, then watched a bloop single fall in front of center fielder Rios - a late defensive replacement - to put runners on the corners for the Indians. The tying run scored on a grounder to second baseman Beckham near the infield grass when Beckham couldn't glove it, settling for a force at second as Carrera scored the tying run.

"It's a big win,'' said Flowers, who became the full-time catcher with A.J. Pierzynski going on the disabled list Tuesday. "Santos had sort of a rough one but he didn't give up any hard hits. The bullpen really picked him up. Everybody participated and contributed and did their job.''

"All I can expect is the effort and intensity to be there every day,'' Williams said. "We've got 42 games left. It's not hard to keep your intensity level up with 42 games. That's what I expect and hopefully we can get on a roll and some guys can get some confidence back maybe that they haven't had thus far.''

What you see in the Sox right now is what you get. Williams said he doesn't expect to make any waiver deals as the Tigers did with outfielder Delmon Young. He doesn't see troubled Cub Carlos Zambrano "as a fit" for the Sox, either.

"I've made no secret about it for quite a while that we are limited from a payroll standpoint at this point and time,'' said Williams, who trimmed payroll by dealing away Edwin Jackson at the deadline while adding to his bullpen by getting Frasor. "We haven't earned our fans' patronage enough to put us in that position and that's nobody's fault except our own fault. Anything that would come across right now, even if it were appealing from a talent standpoint, we are not in a position to be able to do it. Again, that's our fault. That's nobody's fault, except mine, my staff's and the people in uniform.''

Williams said he is optimistic before every game.

"I only get surprised at the end of the game where it's again, we haven't supported our pitching staff,'' he said. "That's my surprise. I keep waiting for it to come, waiting for it to happen.''

Sox starter Gavin Floyd, who had nine strikeouts, couldn't get out of the sixth and left with no chance to win after Will Ohman walked two in relief, including Jason Donald with the bases loaded to make it 5-5. It was one of eight walks by Sox pitchers, who also struck out 19 Indians.

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1 Comment

Thank goodness for players like Pierre and de-aza and LillyBridge who give life to a team full of mopes dopes .. Morel looks liltle slow minded . .Never gets to pop ups. Like another commentor said MOREL looks like a deer iin headlights. a little t slow. NEEDS TO GET TO POP UPS INSTEAD OF THE CATCHER MAKING HARD CATCHES. Both him and Ramirez blew the foul near the tarp. More worried about the trap than catching the ball that landed 1 ft in

Rios always looks not interested too.

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on August 17, 2011 12:34 AM.

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