White Sox Edge Dodgers 5-4
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alexei Ramirez opened the scoring with a two-run single and scored the go-ahead run for the Chicago White Sox, who blew a lead to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second straight game before coming back to beat them 5-4 on Saturday night.
Philip Humber (3-4) threw 99 pitches over five laborious innings, but got the victory after allowing four runs and nine hits. The right-hander, one of 22 pitchers to throw a perfect game in the majors and the only one to do it after undergoing Tommy John surgery, is 2-4 with a 7.47 ERA in 10 starts since his gem on April 21 at Seattle.
Addison Reed, the sixth Chicago pitcher, posted his eighth save in as many chances with a perfect ninth to help end a three-game skid by the AL Central leaders.
Chad Billingsley (4-5) was charged with five runs and eight hits in six innings before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. The right-hander was coming off consecutive road victories against Philadelphia and Seattle in which he allowed a run over seven innings each time. Before that, he went a career-worst nine straight starts without a win, including five no-decisions.
After blowing a four-run lead, the White Sox went back in front 5-4 in the fourth with an unearned run. Ramirez was plunked on the left elbow after he squared around to bunt, then stole second and advanced when second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. misplayed Orlando Hudson’s grounder for an error. Ramirez scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Alejandro De Aza.
The Dodgers, whose 41-25 record is still the best in baseball, threatened in the bottom of the fourth after Billingsley led off with his second single of the game — and Los Angeles’ final hit. Humber walked NL RBI leader Andre Ethier with two outs, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch that sailed over Hairston’s head as catcher A.J. Pierzynski set up his target on the outside corner. But shortstop Ramirez came to Humber’s rescue with a diving catch in front of second base on a popup that Hairston hit off the fists.
The White Sox made the most of their opportunity in the second, taking a 3-0 lead on a two-run single by Ramirez and a run-scoring single down the right field line by Humber — his first major league hit.
Alex Rios made it 4-0 in the third with a two-out RBI triple that was misjudged at the warning track by Elian Herrera, who was starting in center field for only the fifth time since making his major league debut on May 15.
But the Dodgers tied it with four runs in the bottom half, getting a bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Hairston and two-out RBI singles by Bobby Abreu, A.J. Ellis and James Loney. In Friday night’s series-opening 7-6 victory, the Dodgers overcame a 5-1 deficit with a five-run sixth.
Notes: Tommy Lasorda returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time since his mild heart attack on June 4 in New York, where he was representing the club at the free agent draft. It was the second such episode for the 84-year-old Lasorda, whose first one in 1996 forced him to give up managing the Dodgers in his 20th season at the helm. Lasorda went on to pilot Team USA to an Olympic Gold Medal at Sydney, Australia in 2000, and was back in a Dodger uniform on Sept. 22 when skipper Don Mattingly invited him to spend the game in the dugout as one of his coaches