The first game of Saturday’s White Sox-Reds doubleheader was full of odd occurrences early and sloppy play late.
En route to losing 10-4 to the Reds, White Sox starter Hector Noesi was knocked out of the game in the second when Billy Hamilton’s comebacker drilled him in the lower back, causing a contusion and day-to-day injury status.
“Yeah, it got him in a good spot, I guess,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It tightened up on him. At this point it’s just day-to-day.”
After the bottom of the second ended with Tyler Flowers and Micah Johnson striking out looking, hitting coach Todd Steverson was ejected — for the first time as an MLB coach, no less.
And Cincinnati’s lead could’ve been greater had it not made three outs at home plate. Brandon Phillips hit into a rare 2-3-2 double play to end the third, Avisail Garcia threw out Zack Cozart on a fly ball to end the fourth and Skip Schumaker was tagged out trying to score on a wild pitch in the eighth.
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Reds starter Johnny Cueto was largely unhittable throughout the afternoon, allowing only a solo home run to Alexei Ramirez (the 100th of his career) before the White Sox plated three in the ninth charged to him. He threw 8 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Scott Carroll came in cold out of the bullpen in relief of Noesi and ate up 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and one strikeout. Cincinnati got on the board in the seventh when Johnson couldn’t quickly fire Ramirez’s feed to first base for a shot at a double play, allowing Jay Bruce to score the first run. Schumaker followed with an RBI double, and the Reds tacked on a third run on Bruce’s groundout in the eighth.
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“Scotty came in and filled in great,” manager Robin Ventura said. “When Hector goes out, getting him on the line drive, you’re trying to steal some innings and keep it close and Scotty did a good job of doing that. And right there at the end we couldn’t throw some strikes.”
Ventura was alluding to Dan Jennings’ in the ninth-inning implosion in which he allowed four runs on RBI singles to Phillips and Schumaker, a bases-loaded walk to Kristopher Negron (who has a .111 batting average) and an RBI sacrifice fly to Hamilton. He was pulled after throwing 39 pitches, 19 for strikes, and Marlon Byrd ripped a three-run homer on Jake Petricka’s first pitch to cap a seven-run frame.
The White Sox finished the first game with two errors, three wild pitches and eight walks issued