Pedro Alvarez was called up. Aki Iwamura was DFA’d. A tree fell in the woods and nobody heard it. And the Pirates lost their 10th straight.
Zach Duke had faced the minimum through three innings. But he hit a big wall in the fourth. It went like this:
And like that it was 3-0. Thankfully Gordon Beckham bounced into an inning ending double play or it could have been worse.
The Pirates threat in the fifth was also quelled by a DP. Alvarez walked and moved to third on a double by Lastings Milledge. Bobby Crosby’s grounder scored Alvarez (his first ML run). But Duke lined into a double play with Milledge being caught short.
Chicago didn’t waste time expanding their lead. In the top of the sixth RBI knocks by Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin put the ChiSox up 5-1.
Jose Tabata hit his first ML homer – a solo blast off of John Danks in the 8th. And it was 5-2. With the aid of four – count them four – Pirate errors, the White Sox scored two more in the 9th off of Brendan Donnelley. Tony Pena pitched a scoreless 9th to end it.
Duke was his usual hittable self. He gave up eight hits and five runs in 5-2/3. Danks gave up just four hits and struck out six in eight innings.
Milledge had two hits.
10 straight losses.
Bucs committed a total of six errors. And they only had five hits.
Danks had never faced Pittsburgh before. Duke is now 0-2 versus Chicago’s other team.
Duke is 1-8 in his last 12 starts.
Last time the Bucs lost more than 10 straight was June 2006. That skid ended – believe it or not – against the White Sox when Freddy Sanchez homered leading off the bottom of the 9th.