Ninth-inning production leads the Majors
OAKLAND -- The White Sox scored three runs in the ninth inning on Monday night against some of Oakland's top bullpen arms, but still came up short in a 5-4 loss.
Jose Abreu started the rally against A's starter Jesse Chavez by hitting a solo shot to right, ending a streak of 10 straight retired batters by Chavez. Then the next three batters reached base against Jim Johnson and Sean Doolittle before Paul Konerko hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4.
Though they lost the game, the White Sox were able extend their Major League lead in ninth-inning runs scored to 38, which is far ahead of the second-place A's (23). Chicago also is tied for second in ninth-inning batting average (.293) and second in on-base percentage (.391) during the frame.
The White Sox have already put together some memorable walk-off wins as part of their 10 comeback victories.
"One thing is to have the feeling that you're going to do it," manager Robin Ventura said, "and the other thing is having done it already a couple of times this year. You build momentum off of that."
The numbers stand in stark contrast to last season, when the White Sox batted just .228 with 45 runs scored during the ninth.
"It's definitely a different feel offensively compared to what we've seen in the past," Ventura said. "These guys are grinding stuff out and it'll happen every once in a while."