Flowers helps Sox continue extra-inning magic

Flowers helps Sox continue extra-inning magic

ST. LOUIS -- The White Sox closed out June with a 10-16 record, marking their third straight month at .500 or below, via a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in 11 innings Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

They have a 33-42 record overall and sit last in the American League Central, falling a pretty good shouting distance away from playoff contention. Yet, somehow, this is an extra-inning wonder as a group.

Tuesday's victory left the White Sox at 7-2 during bonus baseball in 2015 and with four straight extra-inning victories. So, how does that scenario continue to play out for this primarily underachieving squad?

"Your bullpen has to do well for you to be able to do that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Chris Sale was dominating yet again on Tuesday, joining Pedro Martinez (1999) as the only pitchers in Major League history to record eight straight games of 10 or more strikeouts. But while the White Sox didn't score between the fourth and 10th, Sale, Jake Petricka, Zach Duke, Daniel Webb and David Robertson were holding the best team in baseball to just one run.

Webb stranded a runner at second in the 10th, and Robertson retired Xavier Scruggs to leave the tying and winning runs on base in the 11th. That strong relief work allowed Tyler Flowers' solo blast with two outs in the 11th to hold up. Flowers struck out with the bases loaded and nobody out in the second, so it was a bit of extra-inning redemption.

"It felt good. It felt good coming off the bat, it felt good running around the bases," said Flowers, who was 0-for-3 in extra innings before Tuesday, after hitting his second two-strike homer this season and homering for a second straight game. "After Sale put up another good performance, it's nice to get the win.

"You don't want to waste those opportunities. Sale did a great job, and the bullpen did a good job to give us a chance to do something like that."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.