After eight innings of mostly quiet fans and even quieter bats from the San Francisco Giants, things started coming alive in the ninth inning.
Trailing 2-0 going into the ninth inning, the Giants kept the Jake Petricka‘s reputation alive as one of the worst closers in the league. Petricka entered the ninth inning with just eight saves compared to his ugly number of 17 blown saves. He left the ninth inning with 18.
The Giants got three consecutive hits by Pablo Sandoval, Michael Morse, and Travis Ishikawa to load the bases. They very well could have ended the game then but Chicago’s second baseman Gordon Beckham was able to save the game on a remarkable dive and flip to Alexei Ramirez to turn Joe Panik‘s shot into a double play.
Despite the great play, a run still came across to make it 2-1 and a runner was still on third. That would be enough for Brandon Crawford to tie it up at 2-2 with a single to right field. That was enough to have Petricka removed from the game to be replaced with Zach Putnam who retired Gregor Blanco to end the inning.
The next half of the inning Beckham would make yet another game-changing play. After the White Sox were able to get runners in scoring position he came through with his first hit of the game to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. The lone hit would be enough to give his team the win and extend the Giants losing streak to five games.
If the Giants were going to come away with a victory Tuesday night, Ryan Vogelsong was going to give them their best chance. He had gone 2-0 with a complete game in his past two starts pitching 15 innings, giving up just nine hits while striking out eight but he was going to have to be even better than that Tuesday night against an All-Star like Sale.
Vogelsong nearly got out of the first inning with a double play, but Jose Abreu was able to beat out the throw from Panik. Then the following batter, Adam Dunn, didn’t hesitate in making them pay for it. On a 0-1 count Dunn hit his 18th home run of the season which was a bomb to left center field giving the White Sox an early 2-0 lead.
After that Vogelsong was able to match Sale pitch for pitch, holding Chicago to just one hit through next six innings. “What a great job he did, he kept us in the game”, Manager Bruce Bochy said. But the one mistake to Dunn would prove to be too costly against a starter like Sale.
From the first inning on it was smooth sailing for the White Sox starter. The Giants weren’t able to see the ball that well with everything that was coming at them. Sale’s lanky figure and herky-jerky motion of flailing limbs was enough to distract the Giants from his nasty pitches that struck out 12 batters through his eight innings of work.
Regardless of the great pitching performances displayed Tuesday night, it would come down to the late innings plays from both teams that determined who would be the victor, and unfortunately yet again it wasn’t the Giants.