June 27: Chicago 4, Houston 2
Ed Walsh continues to be a heavily steady presence in the Sox rotation and put together his 11th straight good start. Houston starter Mike Cuellar kept the score close, but after getting the first two batters of the sixth inning, he suddenly gave up four straight hits to Sherm Lollar, Robin Ventura, George Davis, and Eddie Collins to cough up Chicago’s winning runs. Collins reached safely four times in the game, including a triple, and stole second base three times in three attempts.
R H BB HOU 000 020 000 - 2 10 3 CHI 101 002 00x - 4 8 6 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO M. Cuellar 5.2 4 4 0 4 3 E. Walsh 9.0 2 2 0 3 5 HOU 35-41, CHI 36-40
June 28: Chicago 4, Houston 3
Thornton Lee made a second straight start in what had been Red Faber’s spot in the Chicago rotation, and manager Jimmy Dykes confirmed that Lee is officially in the rotation for the foreseeable future, and Faber and his 7.12 ERA have moved to the bullpen.
Lee had an oddly good game. It’s not often one can give up three homers and call it a success, but all three Houston shots were of the solo sort, and it was all the offense Houston managed. Lee’s counterpart J.R. Richard was wild, walking eight Chicago batsmen, two of whom came around to score.
Collins tore up the base-paths again for Chicago, this time reaching three times, including two doubles and two runs scored.
R H BB HOU 002 100 000 - 3 9 1 CHI 100 111 00x - 4 7 9 HR: C. Biggio (9), M. Ensberg (5), J. Edwards (2) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J.R. Richard 6.0 4 3 0 8 4 T. Lee 7.2 3 3 3 1 4 HOU 35-42, CHI 37-40
June 29: Chicago 9, Houston 8
Roy Oswalt was money for Houston in seven efficient innings, after which he handed a 6-2 lead to the Houston bullpen. Billy Wagner is supposed to be the ace in Houston’s bullpen, but he was anything but in the eighth and ninth innings as Houston watched their big league disappear. Frank Thomas hit a two-run bomb in the eighth to make the score 6-4, but Houston gave Wagner two more insurance runs to work with and an 8-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Wagner couldn’t hold it. After striking out Johnny Mostil to start the inning, Eddie Collins reached on a walk. Then Minnie Minoso flew out. Two outs, man on first, four run lead. Then this sequence:
- Joe Jackson singles, Eddie Collins advances to third
- Frank Thomas walks to load the bases
- Luke Appling doubles, Jackson and Collins score, Thomas to third, Houston leads 8-6
- Dave Smith replaces Billy Wagner pitching for Houston
- Paul Konerko homers, Appling, Thomas and Konerko score, Chicago wins 9-8
- Houston feels shame
R H BB HOU 023 000 012 - 8 11 8 CHI 001 010 025 - 9 8 6 HR: B. Watson (11), F. Thomas (14), P. Konerko (6) starters IP R ER HR BB SO R. Oswalt 7.0 2 2 0 2 5 J. Rigney 2.0 5 5 0 4 1 HOU 35-43, CHI 38-40