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(June 29)

Short Take:  A lifeless shutout

The Sox offense left seven men on base and have rarely looked more crippled than they did Friday evening at Comiskey.  Injuries, scrambled line ups, players playing in unfamiliar positions, blah, blah, blah... the Sox didn't even come close to getting the job done against Baltimore.  The Pale Hose get shutout 4-0 and drop again to two games under .500.  We're nine games back.

Kudos to Magglio Ordonez for being the one and only Sox player to manage two hits.  Jerry Manuel jumbled the line up (again) putting Jose Valentin in the lead-off role followed by Chris Singleton, while allowing Ray Durham to extend his wet-dream #3 power role.  Valentin reached base to start the first inning, was sacrificed to second base, and the Sox appeared in business.  Of course Durham is a bit too small to play the power game he thinks he's capable of.  His deep fly fell short of homerun distance, Valentin advancing to third. Hit it on the ground next time, Ray.  Clean up man Magglio Ordonez grounded out and the early chance ended without a score.  It proved to be as close as the Sox would get all night.

Rallies in the third, fifth, and sixth innings all suffered similar fates.  Nobody on the Sox ever came up with a clutch hit.  It was painful to watch.

Meanwhile de facto staff ace Mark Buehrle was pitching effectively if not spectacularly.  He held Baltimore hitless into the fourth inning, but was snake-bitten by a fielding error by Carlos Lee misplaying a double into a lead-off triple.  He managed to induce a double-play grounder to avoid more than one run allowed.

The O's got single runs off Buehrle again in the fifth and seventh innings, not that it seemed to matter much because the way Sox hitter were popping and tapping for Baltimore's Josh Towers, a one-run deficit looked like a Mount Everest-sized obstacle to overcome.

Gary Glover pitched one scoreless inning.  Jon Garland was touched for a run in relief in the ninth.

The Sox are going nowhere playing this way. 

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Mark Buehrle

Seven full innings, 3 runs allowed, 7 hits allowed, 3 K's against 2 walks.  He held the O's scoreless into the fourth inning and deserved a better fate than this loss. 

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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