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10/13/05 12:43 AM ET

White Sox short hops

Game 2 win hinges on unusual ninth inning

CHICAGO -- Call it luck or call it karma. The White Sox don't care what you call it except that Wednesday night's American League Championship Series Game 2 turned into a "W" for the home team.

More missed opportunities for the Sox on the offensive end were erased by a crazy play to end the ninth inning with A.J. Pierzynski getting on first from a disputed dropped third strike.

The only reason that the Sox were able to pull out the victory after the the bizarre play in the ninth was the pitching of Mark Buehrle. Buehrle carried the Sox, allowing just one run on five hits over nine innings.

The series heads to California knotted at one game apiece. While the White Sox played to the best road record in the Majors this season, their hitting must improve if they are to change their record on the West Coast.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 2 of the ALCS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 1.00 Great pitching continuing to be the norm for Sox
BA .215 Struggles continue for the Sox bats
BA w/ RISP .200 Clutch hits still missing
Runs 2 Sox still unable to drive in key runs
Errors 1 Only error doesn't prove to hurt Sox

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Mark Buehrle 1-0, 1.00 ERA Fourth complete game of the year lifts Sox
Joe Crede .375, HR, 2 RBIs Clutch double with two outs in ninth

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Paul Konerko .125, 0 HR, 0 RBIs Only hit of series came in first inning

Behind the numbers
The numbers don't show it, but again there were some critical baserunning errors by the Sox. Aaron Rowand not making it home in the second inning and Crede being doubled up in the seventh could have proved costly.

Frozen moment
The strikeout by Pierzynski with two outs in the ninth that turned into a runner on first was the turning point. Missed umpire call or not, the Sox took advantage.

Slick move
Pierzynski's decision to run on the dropped third strike proved to be a big bonus for the Sox as it extended the inning and gave Chicago a second chance.

Not exactly 'earning' it
Both White Sox runs on Wednesday were unearned, but the Sox still picked up the victory. It is only the 15th time in the postseason that a team has lost a game without allowing an earned run.

Nothing like the first time
The White Sox won a home game during LCS play for the first time in seven tries.

Last word
"It was a weird situation there with A.J. in the ninth. I'm just glad we were able to capitalize and there weren't any mistakes." -- Crede

Kelly Thesier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.