Eight-Run Rally Wasted by Angels as White Sox Win : Baseball: After club comes back from a 9-1 deficit to tie, Chicago scores twice in the ninth, 11-9.
Bert Blyleven came undone, and the Angels looked done for.
The Chicago White Sox scored seven runs in the sixth inning Tuesday--five against Blyleven, whose last act was to give up a three-run home run to Ivan Calderon.
Then the Angels, once down by eight runs, scored six in the seventh, and it was a ballgame. They tied the score with a run in the eighth--only to see the White Sox win, 11-9, in the ninth inning with two runs on four hits before 28,401 at Anaheim Stadium.
It was a wild one--"a crazy game, Holy Christmas!” White Sox Manager Jeff Torborg said.
Ozzie Guillen’s run-scoring single to right off Mark Eichhorn drove in Ron Karkovice with the tie-breaking run in the ninth. Another run scored on Lance Johnson’s bunt single.
“It’s not frustrating because these people persevered,” said Angel Manager Doug Rader, who inserted three players after the White Sox’s big inning, only to see those players, Kent Anderson, Max Venable and John Orton, help spark the rally.
“We weren’t exactly hot on their heels,” Rader said. The switches were in part because the Angels have a day game today. “And you want to try to change the feel of the game. What the heck, those players got us back in the game.”
Eichhorn, the Angels’ ace reliever who entered the game with a 1.33 earned-run average, pitched the ninth, and took the loss, his fourth without a victory.
Barry Jones (9-1), the White Sox’s fifth pitcher, earned the victory. Bobby Thigpen pitched the ninth for the save, his major league-leading 25th.
The Angels had tied the score in the eighth on Luis Polonia’s sacrifice fly to shallow left, which scored Dante Bichette when Dave Gallagher’s throw couldn’t get him.
“I thought we had the game,” Polonia said. “I said, ‘This is it, right here.’ I’m thinking to bring both runners in, or expecting somebody else to bring the other in, but we’re not perfect.
“It was a crazy one because all of a sudden we feel we have no chance, but we put our heads down and did the best we can. I think sometimes it’s better to lose, 9-1, and take it that way.”
Blyleven, who gave up seven runs, said he only regretted that the comeback changed the accounting of blame.
“I kind of wish I got the loss because I didn’t pitch so well,” he said. “That’s probably the most frustrating thing. But it showed a lot of character in our team.”
By the time the White Sox’s sixth was done, the Angels trailed by eight runs.
That much was remarkable. That they brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh was just short of incredible.
The Angels got one run back on Wally Joyner’s home run in the sixth.
They led off the seventh with back-to-back singles by Chili Davis and Orton, who had replaced Lance Parrish at catcher in the inning.
That was enough to chase Adam Peterson. Donn Pall came on, and gave up a run-scoring single to Bichette.
Pall got Jack Howell to fly out, but walked Dick Schofield. Polonia forced Schofield at second with a grounder for the second out, but Orton scored on the play. Anderson, in the game as a replacement at second base, reached safely when his sharply hit grounder bounced high and away off the glove of shortstop Guillen for an error, with Bichette scoring and Polonia taking third.
Wayne Edwards came on in relief, and walked Joyner, loading the bases. Venable, another of the Angels’ mid-game replacements, worked to a full count and walked, driving in Polonia.
The White Sox brought Scott Radinsky to the mound, and Davis, batting for the second time in the inning, sent him back off it with a two-run single to center that brought the Angels to within 9-8.
Barry Jones came on to pitch--the fifth White Sox pitcher of the inning--and got Orton to strike out. (The five White Sox pitchers in the inning were one short of the major league record of six set by Oakland on Sept. 23, 1983, against Cleveland.)
Blyleven, trying for his sixth victory in his last seven starts, gave up a solo homer to Karkovice in the second, and a run in the third on a walk followed by a double by Calderon.
But in the sixth, all semblance of order disappeared. Karkovice, who had singled, scored on Sammy Sosa’s triple to right. Johnson singled, driving in Sosa. Robin Ventura singled, and then came Calderon’s three-run homer.
Scott Bailes came on to replace Blyleven, and got Dan Pasqua to ground to first base. But Joyner missed the ground ball, with Pasqua reaching on the two-out error as the ball rolled behind Joyner.
It proved an expensive mistake. Moments later, Ron Kittle hit Bailes’ first pitch deep into the left field stands for a two-run homer. Both runs were unearned.
“You gotta give them a lot of credit, being down 9-1 and coming back,” Torborg said. “But you gotta give us credit too.”
Former Dodger and Angel Jerry Reuss, released by Houston’s triple-A Tucson team May 14, was in a White Sox uniform Tuesday, saying he can still pitch in the major leagues. “If I thought I was finished, I’d say so,” said Reuss, 41, who worked out with the team with the permission of Manager Jeff Torborg. Reuss, who last pitched in the majors with Milwaukee last season, had a spring-training tryout with the White Sox as a non-roster invitee, and worked as a reliever with Houston’s double-A and triple-A teams before his release.
Devon White, bothered by a strained right rib cage, was not in the lineup for the third consecutive day. X-rays of the ribs were negative, trainer Ned Bergert said.