The 3-0 Braves and the 3-1 Sox faced off in a battle of two young and improving teams this summer. The weather was crisp as David Wynne took the mound. He shut down the Braves after loading the bases with three strikeouts in a row. The Sox jumped on the board in the bottom half of the first with a walk to Garrett, a single by David Riddle, a single by David Wynnne, and a walk to Bretton.
The Braves had a big top of the second with four runs on a bunch of walks despite David Wynne throwing numerous good pitches. The Sox went down quietly in the bottom of the second so after two it was 4-1 Braves.
Wesley came on after his big game last Tuesday and picked up where he left off. Again the Braves loaded the bases on some walks and weak hits, but Wesley struck out the leadoff batter and the second hitter to end the inning with no damage to the Sox. In the bottom of the third Christopher led off with a walk, Mark walked, Garrett walked and David Riddle picked up an RBI with a ground ball to third to score a run. Bretton followed with a big single to center to score two more and the Sox had tied the score at 4-4.
Nolan came on in the 4th and struck out the leadoff hitter. The next batter singled and then the season’s most impressive defensive play occured. The Braves fifth batter hit a short popup to Nolan — he caught the ball and noticed the runner had taken too many steps towards second, Nolan wheeled and fired to an alert Wesley at first for the double play.
In the bottom of the 4th the White Sox took advantage of some control problems on the part of the Braves. Five batters walked in a row — scoring two runs. The Braves put in their ace closer in the middle of the inning who came on to strike out the side. But the damage was done and the Sox led 6-4.
Bretton came on in the fifth and had some control problems and the Braves scored 4 to again take the lead at 8-6. But the White Sox just wouldn’t go away and in the bottom of the fifth the bats came alive. David Wynne led off with an infield single to third, Bretton drilled one to left for a clean double. Nolan hit a big single to right to score two runs and tie the score. The closer lost some composure and then walked three of the next five hitters to give the White Sox a 10-8 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bretton took the mound and looked completely renewed by the big Sox inning. He retired the Braves on three consecutive strikeouts to preserve the 10-8 victory.
Due to the long game, Coach Grossman had less time than usual for his postgame interview. He has an extremely busy coaching calendar. He did make the following terse comment, “This was a big win for us — getting past the Braves was very exciting — I thought we started to really come together today and I was very very pleased with our bats — Wesley’s big hit was fantastic, David Wynne, Wesley, Nolan and Bretton had nice outings on the mound and we were able to pick up a nice victory. I’m looking forward to our game next Tuesday — I’ve heard the Rangers are a great team.”