A temporarily flooded clubhouse and the disbelief over popular utility player Pablo Ozuna being cut were only part of the White Sox's woes Tuesday night.
They were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position in the first seven innings before rallying to tie the game in the eighth.
Then even Alexei Ramirez scoring from second base on a sacrifice fly for an apparent insurance run in the 11th inning wasn't enough to prevent Scott Linebrink from his second blown save since taking over for Bobby Jenks.
Finally, Orlando Cabrera's RBI double that scored Ramirez with the go-ahead run in the 13th nearly wasn't enough.
The Sox had to hold their breaths to celebrate until Nick Masset induced pinch-hitter Mark Grudzielanek to ground into a double play to cap an 8-7 victory.
"The only good thing about this game is that we won," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's a real bad game.
"[But] we fought like a champ, they tied the game and we continued to fight. That's the sign of a winning club. That's the only thing we did right. Keep fighting."
Ramirez and Jim Thome each had four hits as the Sox increased their lead to 21/2 games over Minnesota in the AL Central.
The Sox were one out away from victory when Linebrink allowed an RBI single to Mike Aviles and an RBI double to Alex Gordon in the 11th. Linebrink now has allowed five runs in his last four appearances with two blown saves.
"There's only two words I can give you about me out there," Linebrink said. "I stink. Fortunately, we have a great team. It's disappointing for me because of the way we battled back. … You can see the heart in these guys."
It was a trying night for the players who didn't expect Ozuna to be designated for assignment to make room for first baseman Paul Konerko and to Guillen who wasn't pleased after learning of the players' disbelief.
"If some players didn't like the move, well it's easy to do," Guillen said before the game. "Just tell Ozuna to stay here and [they can] go to the minor leagues [in his place]."
Ozuna accompanied the Sox on their flight Monday night to Kansas City but wasn't informed about his dismissal until Tuesday.
And many fans wondered why Juan Uribe wasn't removed instead of Ozuna.
A fired-up Guillen gave a lengthy explanation regarding Ozuna, 34, who batted .290 in 208 games with the Sox from 2005 to 2008.
Guillen said the Sox elected to keep Uribe, a .206 hitter, because of starting experience at three infield positions in case of an injury and lack of infield depth in the minors.
The Sox have 10 days to trade or release Ozuna, and Guillen hopes Ozuna will accept a minor-league assignment if he isn't dealt or claimed by another team.
"[Ozuna is] was one of my all-time favorite guys, as he is for most of the guys," said Konerko, who showed no ill effects from a left oblique strain that had sidelined him since June 15. "He'll land on his feet because he's a good player. Never once did he go about his business the wrong way."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun