Skip to content
White Sox rally falls short
The White Sox received no firm reward for spoiling Randy Johnson's no-hit bid Wednesday night and coming within 90 feet of wiping out all of a seven-run deficit.
But despite a furious comeback, the Sox fell into third place in the American League Central for the first time since April 12 after a 7-6 loss to the New York Yankees.
After being no-hit for six innings by the redoubtable Johnson and seeing Jon Garland (12-4)their hottest pitcherget tagged for three home runs, the Sox actually had the tying and winning runs on base before closer Mariano Rivera induced Jim Thome to hit into a force play to end the game.
"That was a great comeback," said Sox rookie center fielder Brian Anderson, who was stranded on third as the game ended. "Even though we lost, it was a great morale booster for this team. It was a tough game, a tough loss, but we battled well."
There was too much damage, however, for the Sox to overcome as they lost for the third time in four games. Johnson (12-9) threw inside effectively and needed little defensive help while flirting with his third career no-hitter one month shy of his 43rd birthday.
As giddy as the Sox were after Tuesday's 11-inning victory over Rivera, they weren't satisfied just to trim a seven-run deficit.
"One game doesn't mark a season," Garland said. "If you don't play good defense, put up the runs and pitch well, you won't win."
Tadahito Iguchi came through with three hits in his last three at-bats, starting with a leadoff single in the seventh that snapped Johnson's no-hit bid. Iguchi hit a leadoff home run in the eighth off Kyle Farnsworth that cut the deficit to 7-3 and his two-out single in the ninth off Rivera moved Anderson to third.
"It felt good to get that first hit," Iguchi said. "Of course, it is not something where you just get that one hit and be happy. This is not that kind of team. But it was definitely something we needed to get the spark."
Despite the late rally, the Sox missed a promising opportunity to close the gap quicker in the seventh after Iguchi's single.
They closed the deficit to 7-2 and Johnson was pulled after Jermaine Dye hit a double off the right-field fence. Left-handed reliever Ron Villone walked Joe Crede to load the bases.
Manager Ozzie Guillen allowed left-handed hitter A.J. Pierzynski to face Villone because he believed it was too early to use backup Sandy Alomar Jr., not to mention that Pierzynski was batting .303 against left-handers.
But Pierzynski hit a feeble foul pop to first for the first out. That set the tone for frustration as Alex Cintron also popped to first and Anderson flied to left.
"I think [Pierzynski] was swinging for the fences," Villone said. "I'm looking for a ground ball every time. Sometimes when guys get a little excited, they swing a lot harder and jam themselves.
"It was a decent pitch, but he screwed himself into the ground a couple of times."
After Crede's three-run homer off Farnsworth closed the gap to 7-6 in the eighth, Rivera entered the game and jammed Pierzynski on a soft liner to the mound in which he fell down at the plate.
But the Sox's comeback gained the Yankees' respect.
"Never underestimate them," Villone said. "You can hold them down for so long, but just like a caged beast, once he gets out of there, gets one hit, things can roll real quick."