ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tommy Kahnle got squeezed on Tuesday night. Chris Beck had little wiggle room with which to work.
Both escaped tight situations and emerged with experiences that could be critical to their careers. Beck induced a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play to earn the victory while Kahnle pitched out of his own jam and earned a hold.
“They’re both growing leaps and bounds,” bullpen coach Curt Hasler said. “Those are big moments and learning moments and those are moments where they make strides in their career. Beck getting the big ground ball and Kahnle working through some issues, giving up a couple of hits. He worked through it and kept us in the game and we won the ballgame.
"You can’t substitute anything for experience like Chris Beck on the mound with the bases loaded and Tommy Kahnle in the eighth and holding them there.”
The inning-ending, bases-loaded double play Beck induced after he fell behind Jesus Sucre 3-0 in the count is perhaps the biggest moment of his career. It prevented the White Sox from falling behind and helped Jose Quintana exit with a tidy one run allowed in 5 1/3 innings.
The escape is just another nice outing in a string of them for Beck, who has an 0.82 ERA in 11 innings dating back to May 16.
Kahnle has already earned his manager’s trust with a dominant start to the season. He has filled in nicely with injuries to Nate Jones, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka and moved up the food chain, taking on more high-leverage moments.
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Currently the team’s setup man, Kahnle has been so good it was somewhat surprising to see him yield consecutive singles to start the eighth inning. Kahnle dealt with more strife later in the inning when he didn’t get strike calls at the top of the zone and the bottom of the zone, a fact pitching coach Don Cooper didn’t lose sight of when he chirped at the plate ump on the way back to the dugout after visiting Kahnle. But Kahnle buckled down and escaped a bases-loaded jam with only one run allowed and the lead intact.
“Stuff like that is going to happen,” Kahnle said. “You have to kind of deal with it while everything is going on. Basically I try not to think about that. Yeah, you’re going to be like ‘Where was that?’ But next thing you know you have to flip the switch and go to the next pitch. I felt like I was doing that.”
“Since you’re out there more you have more chances to work on things. I felt good.”
Manager Rick Renteria likes how his pitchers responded. Both faced the kind of moments where a game can easily get away from you and both lived to tell about it.
“You’ve got to obviously control your emotions,” Renteria said. “Seemingly you feel like you’re not getting calls. It’s a give and take. Umpires are doing their job. The truth is you can’t let your emotions get the best of you. You still have to execute and still try to hit your spots. You can’t control how they’re going to call it. You can control what you’re going to do in terms of making your pitches. I thought they showed a lot of poise and control. You could see they were a little upset, but they kind of regrouped and were able to get through the inning.”