CHICAGO (AP) — Tyler Flowers got some rare playing time Saturday night behind the plate for the Chicago White Sox. He responded with a career-high three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs.
But a 9-7 loss to the Oakland Athletics kept him from enjoying his big night.
"It's nice, but I'd rather win the game. Defense and the pitchers are the priority," said Flowers, who also dropped a popup for an error. "It's not as good as if we had won the game."
Chicago gave up five runs in the third inning when starter Francisco Liriano, who struck out the first four batters he faced and five of the first six, suddenly lost it.
"Everything changed. I was just missing my spots," said Liriano, who gave up six runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings. He now has three no-decisions since joining the White Sox in trade from Minnesota.
"It was kind of a nerve-racking game there behind the plate. Both teams were swinging the bat well," Flowers said.
"He (Liriano) made some mistakes up in the zone a little bit and Oakland has been swinging the bats well. They put a five spot on us before we even know it. It happens that quick, especially when they're hot."
The White Sox scored in the seventh on A.J. Pierzynski's RBI single for a 7-6 lead, but Jonny Gomes homered off Matt Thornton (4-8) to tie the game in the eighth and Brandon Inge added a go-ahead single off reliever Brett Myers. Inge's hit came shortly after he'd hurt his shoulder in the previous inning when he made a diving stop on Alex Rios' infield single.
"I dislocated it. I just had to put it back in the socket," Inge said. Two batters he later he started an inning-ending double play from third base.