The Chicago White Sox could not have invented a more satisfying way to bring their losing streak to an end.
After five hours and 42 minutes and 16 innings of baseball, the Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 7-5. This was not an exciting game full of fireworks and lead changes. That is, not until the 14th inning. The Sox ended the scoreless contest with five runs in the top of the 14th. Alex Rios started the rally with an RBI single. He was followed by contributions from Casper Wells, Jeff Keppinger, and Hector Gimenez later in the inning.
Seemingly a 5-0 lead in extra innings would be enough to earn the win. To their credit, the Mariners felt otherwise. In efficient fashion, they hit four straight one-out singles in the bottom of the frame. With bases loaded and two outs, Kyle Seager made MLB history when he hit the first ever extra-innings grand slam to tie a game.
The grand slam came off a pitch from Addison Reed, who set his career highs with three innings pitched and 55 pitches. Despite letting up all five of Seattle’s runs, Reed earned the win when the Sox sealed the deal in the 16th.
Gordon Beckham singled to start the inning and advanced to second with a stolen base. With one out, Alejandro De Aza singled him home. Alex Rios added an insurance run with an RBI single of his own a few batters later. Playing in just his third game since being off the disabled list, Beckham made his presence felt going 4 for 7.
Anyone who didn’t watch this game would assume that the starting pitching was stellar from both teams. However, this was not the case. The Sox certainly struggled offensively (which is how you get in an eight-game losing streak in the first place) against Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma. They only managed three hits over eight innings and couldn’t advance a runner past second.
On the other hand, the Mariners had no trouble hitting Dylan Axelrod. Threatening in basically every inning, the Sox had to turn six double plays to even make it into extra innings. Axelrod handed the game over to the bullpen in the sixth, who managed to keep it scoreless until the 14th inning.
The White Sox currently sit seven games back of first in the AL Central. Considering they were 4 1/2 back at the beginning of this losing streak, things could definitely have turned out worse. Hopefully, this circus of a game provides the right spark for the Sox to get their act together.