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White Sox home winning streak ends at 9
Apparently, Ozzie Guillen has run out of rants. But he certainly has no raves, either, not after his White Sox were shut out Saturday night for the seventh time.
Yes, indeed, the Colorado Rockies' pitching staff, worst in the National League, completely baffled Sox batters, who have battled from behind to win 15 previous games.
And the Sox's pitching staff, best in baseball? Not only did it get no favors from its offense but the defense did it in as well, allowing a pair of unearned runs in a 2-0 loss.
"It's one of those games where it seemed like we were not meant to win it," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said after the Sox's nine-game home winning streak ended. "You're going to lose a game. No one ever has gone undefeated."
Guillen was calm afterward, saying: "Our offense was real quiet. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the opposition."
Maybe, but Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa came into the game with a 1-3 record and 9.00 ERA in five starts. He left after giving up one hit in five innings while striking out a career-high eight.
"It seemed like every time he got ahead on the count, he made a nasty pitch," Pierzynski said.
And then there was that Sox defense, which is partly accountable for four losses in the last five games.
The Rockies scored their first run in the seventh inning, making a loser of Octavio Dotel. Jeff Baker led off with a double and wound up at third with two outs when Willy Tavares, who had five stolen bases, hit a smash right at the feet of first baseman Paul Konerko, who was charged with an error when he couldn't handle it.
The Rockies added a second run in the ninth when reliever Nick Masset threw past Konerko at first with Yorvit Torrealba running from second.
Although Pierzynski led off the Sox ninth with a single, closer Brian Fuentes retired Carlos Quentin, Konerko and Jermaine Dye in order, much to the disappointment of a fireworks-night crowd of 35,663.
The Sox offense never got a runner to third base while the Rockies left four stranded there against starter John Danks, who was just good enough to leave in a scoreless tie after six innings.
"He battled like a champ," Guillen said. "He didn't have his best stuff, but he performed."
As for Tavares' five steals, three of them of third base, Guillen said two of them were his fault because he didn't want Danks to worry about baserunners. But even Pierzynski said: "He's that fast. He runs away from the ball."
Danks knows he has to work on keeping runners from going second to third with less than two outs.
"You're not going to be able to dodge that bullet forever," he said. "You're playing with fire."
Danks allowed a baserunner in every inning but the second, but Guillen stuck with him until his pitch count became too large. Last season, as a rookie, Danks would have been pulled sooner and even was taken out of the rotation late in the season to save his arm.
"Last year we weren't going anywhere," Guillen said. "That's the difference this year. Last year it was not necessary to use that kid for no reason.
"This year I'm going to squeeze the juice all I can."