ST. LOUIS — The White Sox came to Missouri with the worst road record in the American League for a short series against baseball’s best team. On paper, things didn’t appear to bode well for the White Sox. But baseball can be a weird game.
After surviving three rain delays totaling 2:19, the White Sox beat St. Louis, 7-1, Wednesday at Busch Stadium to sweep a two-game series from a Cardinals team that entered the week with only seven losses in St. Louis this season. Tyler Flowers homered for the third consecutive game and Melky Cabrera blasted his third home run of the season to pace the White Sox offense.
Jose Quintana pitched well despite warming up prior to the first delay, which lasted 1:49, and dealing with the other 14- and 16-minute delays, both of which started with the White Sox in the field. The left-hander allowed one run on six hits in six innings with eight strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to 3.81 and out-dueling Cardinals starter John Lackey in the process.
“He did a good job with staying loose,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He didn’t really let it effect him. He does a good job of that.
“It didn’t happen to Lackey. It happened to Q. He was able to withstand that mentally.”
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St. Louis struck in the first inning after the game’s second delay, with Kolten Wong narrowly beating Alexei Ramirez’s relay throw home on Jhonny Peralta’s double. Adam Eaton’s fifth-inning single was the equalizer and Melky Cabrera’s sixth-inning solo home run, his third of the year, put the White Sox ahead for good.
Flowers’ two-run home run added some insurance in the ninth, but the scoring didn’t stop there. Carlos Sanchez singled Adam LaRoche and Adam Eaton were hit by pitches in consecutive at-bats to load the bases for Jose Abreu, who drove in Sanchez with a single to left. LaRoche scored on Cabrera’s groundout, and Matt Carpenter’s error trying to catch Yadier Molina’s rundown throw allowed Eaton to score for the seventh and final run.
Zach Putnam, Zach Duke and Jake Petricka combined to throw two scoreless, high-leverage innings before turning things over to Scott Carroll to polish off the win with a six-run cushion in the ninth.
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The first-place Cardinals — baseball’s only team with 50 or more wins — entered this week’s short series with a 29-7 record at Busch Stadium, and only lost two consecutive home games one other time this season (May 15-16 vs. Detroit). The White Sox, conversely, entered the week with an AL-worst 14-27 road record.
“They are obviously a good team and missing some key pieces but you know it’s nice to come in here and beat a team like this,” Ventura said. “I think offensively we put some runs up late and the pitchers did what they did and the bullpen did too. There are some guys that are starting to swing it.”