After sweeping the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, the 51-24 St. Louis Cardinals entered Tuesday night’s matchup against the other team from the Windy City…the Chicago White Sox, as the two teams would play the first of a two game series.
And what turned out to be a close-knit game for most of the evening, St. Louis could not capitalize as they fell in 11 innings by a score of 2-1.
The starting pitchers for Tuesday night’s game were Lance Lynn (5-4, 2.74 ERA) for the Cardinals, and young star Chris Sale (6-4, 2.87 ERA) for the White Sox.
Chicago had a chance in the top of the second to really get ahead in the game, but the Cardinals were able to overcome the situation. It started when Avisail Garcia reached first with an infield single. Conor Gillaspie followed with a single of his own. Alexi Ramirez then stepped up to the plate, grounding into a fielder’s choice, as Garcia advanced to third. Due to a fielding error by second baseman Pete Kozma, Gillaspie was safe at second as well.
Suddenly, the White Sox had the bases loaded with nobody out.
But Lynn was ready.
Tyler Flowers struck out on the next at-bat, and Carlos Sanchez grounded into an inning-ending double play to Jhonny Peralta as Lynn and the Cardinals got out of the jam unscathed, and Chicago missing a golden opportunity.
The next inning, however, the White Sox capitalized on their opportunity to score. Sale led off with a single, and, after a groundout by Adam Eaton, Sale advanced to second. A single to center field by Jose Abreu scored Sale giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
On the mound, however, is where Sale is known for doing the most damage. He had his eighth straight start with 10+ strikeouts on Tuesday, and joined baseball legend Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers to accomplish that feat.
Lynn had thrown 101 pitches after five innings, while Sale had thrown a mere 54. But the score was no longer 1-0 White Sox, as in the bottom of the fourth inning, Randal Grichuk, who has been on a tear since Matt Holliday’s injury, hit his seventh home run of the season, which tied the game at 1-1.
During the start of the seventh inning, Randy Choate entered the game to relieve Lynn, whose final line of the evening was: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks.
The final line for Sale, when he was finally taken out in the ninth inning: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 Ks.
It remained a tie game as both teams’ bullpens did their job in shutting down the opposing bats, eventually to the point where the game headed into extra innings. Closer Trevor Rosenthal, who had gotten out of a big jam in the top of the ninth inning, was relieved in the tenth inning by Seth Maness, who threw a 1-2-3 inning that included two strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Zach Duke entered the game for the White Sox to pitch the bottom of the tenth. The inning started with a walk to Matt Carpenter, who was pinch hitting for Maness. Kolten Wong entered the game next and grounded out, advancing Carpenter to second base, bringing up Jon Jay with one out. Jay, with Daniel Webb now on the mound, grounded to the shortstop, but Carpenter was caught in a rundown long enough for Jay to advance to second with Grichuk up. Grichuk could not capitalize, however, ending the inning.
Miguel Socolovich pitched the top of the 11th inning, but with two outs, Flowers, who was 1-4 with a single during the game, belted a home run (his sixth of the year) out to left center to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead.
David Robertson pitched the bottom of the 11th for the White Sox. Peralta led off with a line out to the left infield, bringing up Mark Reynolds. Reynolds struck out, but with two outs, Jason Heyward singled, as did the next batter up, Yadier Molina. Xavier Scruggs then came to the plate, but the young prospect grounded out to end the game, as Chicago won 2-1.
The Cardinals drop to 51-25, but still possess the best record in all of baseball, while the White Sox improve to 33-42, but still sit in last place in the American League Central. Webb wins his first game of the year, while Socolovich falls to 2-1 on the year. Robertson also gets his 16th save of the year.
Tomorrow, John Lackey will get the start on the mound.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)