The White Sox managed to win Monday night despite an ugly ninth inning that immediately is up for worst frame of 2015.
Trayce Thompson exited with a left elbow sprain and Tyler Flowers and David Robertson combined to blow a four-run lead in ugly fashion all in a span of three outs.
But Melky Cabrera helped the White Sox top the Oakland A’s 8-7 in 14 innings with a walkoff RBI single at U.S. Cellular Field. Thompson -- who is day to day after an X-ray was negative -- and Jose Abreu both homered in the victory as the White Sox improved to 13-3 in extra innings.
“The 14th is always our best inning,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Bullpen-wise, they did great. They were able to keep it going until we finally scored. But you’re more than disappointed with how the ninth went.”
Cabrera’s two-out single to right off Arnold Leon ended the contest after 5 hours, 9 minutes. Geovany Soto, the third White Sox catcher of the night, singled to start the 14th and moved into scoring position on Adam Eaton’s sac bunt. Soto just slid ahead of Josh Reddick’s throw home to scoring the winning run.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re winning by four or five or whatever, you have to keep your focus the whole game,” Cabrera said through an interpreter. “That ninth inning was crazy. I don’t know how to explain it or what happened there, but it was crazy.”
The White Sox took a comfortable four-run cushion headed to the ninth inning. But Thompson injured himself in a diving attempt for Brett Lawrie’s leadoff double, landing hard on his left elbow.
Danny Valencia reached on a wild pitch after he struck out. After Robertson struck out Billy Butler, he appeared to get out of the jam with a double play ball off the bat of Reddick only to have catcher’s interference called against Flowers. Robertson walked Coco Crisp to force in a run and Sam Fuld’s two-out, two-run single made it a 7-6 game. Robertson then crossed up Flowers, which led to a passed ball that allowed the tying run to score. But Robertson stranded the tying run at third as Marcus Semien lined out to center.
“Just a bizarre ninth inning,” Ventura said. “The ball falls in, you get the catcher’s interference, just the cross-up, just a bizarre ninth inning.”
The rally wiped out a victory for John Danks and what had been a stellar night by the White Sox offense against Oakland ace Sonny Gray, who matched a career-high with seven earned runs allowed.
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Danks limited Oakland to three hits -- all solo home runs -- in seven innings as he took advantage of a big night against Gray, who entered the game with a 2.28 earned-run average.
Abreu had gone hitless in 13 straight at-bats, including a first-inning strikeout, before blasted a two-run homer to left center in the third off Gray to put the White Sox ahead 2-1.
Three batters later, Thompson hammered a 0-1 curveball from Gray out to center to give the White Sox a three-run lead. The White Sox scored three more times in the fourth on an Alexei Ramirez bases-loaded walk and Abreu followed with a two-run single to put the White Sox ahead 7-2. Abreu reached base five times in eight plate appearances, including two intentional walks.
“I didn't see a game lasting until midnight coming, but I'm glad we got the win,” Danks said.