The White Sox will need to dip into their reserve tank Sunday with their series against the Oakland A's on the line.
Much was exerted with nothing to show for it in a 9-7 loss on Saturday night. It was a deflating way to get beat after the Sox rallied from a 6-2 deficit to take a 7-6 lead in the seventh.
Jonny Gomes' homer against Matt Thornton was the big blow. That one tied it in the eighth, and Brandon Inge's single down the right-field line put the A's back in front. Gomes' RBI single after Coco Crisp doubled past a diving Alex Rios in right field added an insurance run for the A's, who like the Sox are battling for a place in the postseason.
Inge's single came after Yoenis Cespedes reached on what was ruled an infield single when shortstop Alexei Ramirez's throw from the outfield grass pulled Adam Dunn off the bag. With Cespedes on the run and second baseman Gordon Beckham leaving his position to cover the base, Chris Carter then dumped a short pop behind Beckham's vacated spot.
Tyler Flowers homered, doubled and singled and drove in three runs for the Sox, and Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer.
After a brilliant start, Sox starter Francisco Liriano was roughed up for six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Liriano struck out all three A's he faced in the first inning and five of the first six. In the A's five-run third, he walked two, hit Cespedes on the shoe and gave up a two-run single to Chris Carter and a two-run double to Derek Norris.
It took him 38 pitches to get through the inning against the A's, who came in with a major-league low .230 team batting average.